Friday, December 31, 2004

A Hard Truth

"A Resting Hero" by Wes Aldridge

This image tells of a true moment in time. It is a piece of reality that reflects a current social position. This image was not staged, I just happened to chance upon it. I can't remember the exact date that I was visiting my parents home in northwestern Georgia, but that is where this scene played out.

Being the good, proud Americans that they are, my parents have flags displayed in the yard for July 4th, Veterans Day, etc. This shot is the remains of one of those last occurrences. It was a flag that was looked over, forgotten, and had fallen to rest on the ground. Its colors had faded out as it laid battered on the ground. The flag represented an American serviceman fallen in battle in Iraq and the flowers above were like a mother, sister, wife, fiance, lover looking over the dead body of their brave soldier that gave his fullest measure of devotion for his country.

This simple scene seemed to say so much. It could be a piece of any service man or woman's life. It could be a situation that some family had to deal with in their hearts. It was a symbol of ultimate sadness, very powerful to me. It dared to show and make someone consider all the darkest situations in war: Death. Then, with that exposed, one must question why that death occurred. Was it a neglegent plan of attack by an administration with too much gusto? Was it an unnecessary war in the first place? Did a man die for no reason, or even worse, a wrong reason?

When I saw this little faded flag I immediately laid on the ground, camera in hand and hoped that the sun would shift its position ever so slightly and make the light and shadow an ultra-dramatic contrast. I probably waited a good hour and a half for that decisive moment that made this scene transform from a snapshot into a photograph with true meaning.