Memorial Day | Memories for a Lifetime

Memorial Day has a special meaning to me. 

I am a military kid, the spouse of a career Soldier, and the mom to an active duty Infantry Soldier and that brings my total years affiliated with the United States Military to fifty nine years of service.  Service as a family member of the great men in my life, but service nonetheless.  When I think of our friends and family who have given their lives in the ultimate sacrifice to this nation I am humbled by the magnitude of the love that I have for them and for their service. These experiences have formed my identity.

Why is Memorial Day important to photography?

First, it is the photos that we have from our past that will bring back the memories of those important people in our lives that are no longer with us.

My father Colonel Jack C. Gentry, USAF, ret.,  and my grandson James.   Photo circa 2008

Future generations will witness a testament to both family and country through the memories that are recorded print. Pictures as they say, are worth a thousand words.

My grandson James at the grave site of his great grandfather. Photo circa 2013

Photos can also establish the emotion of what the day means to others:

My mother, Miriam, at my father's grave.  Photo circa 2013

Second, what would we do if we did not have the freedom of expression that we hold so dear to our hearts as photographers.  In some cultures and countries people are censored and arrested for taking a photo. Today often times photographers are treated suspiciously.  We as Americans take the simple freedom of taking a photo for granted.  Images can be so powerful in swaying emotion:  just think about the images of concentration camps in WWII, the nuclear bomb devastation in Japan, or the immolation of the young girl by napalm in Vietnam.  All of those images are possible by virtue of our freedom of expression, honored in the United States, that other countries would not have allowed.

This is a day when we leave politics at the door and take time to think about what it means to live in the greatest country in the world and to have the freedom of expression.  But, freedom for us has come at a steep price.  Take out your photos of loved ones and friends and share them with others.  Also take the time to make new memories.  Take out your camera, or your phone and take photos to remember these times, good and bad, for the memories of future generations.

Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, St Louis, Missouri  Photo circa 2013

If you need an event photographer to capture family reunions or military deployments please think of Faces-Places-Photography for these special occasions.