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Pictures Speak Volumes

In: People

Submitted By jbsmith2
Words 843
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Pictures That Speak Volumes Have you known a military member that has had to leave their child at home while serving their country or has lost their life while serving their country? It is difficult to find people who have not been touched by the tragedy of military absence or death in one way or another. So many photographs depicting the extreme sadness of children and parents during or after a tour overseas have been taken. Two of those photographs will be discussed in this essay. The first photograph is of an 8 year old boy accepting the flag at his father’s funeral. According to ABC News his father was just finishing up his second tour of duty overseas. He was due to come home to his family soon when he was tragically killed. The second photo is a mother/ military member who is returning to her daughter. Both photos show extreme sadness on both the child’s and the parent’s part. This is our country’s reality. So many men and women are sent into other countries to protect and serve and they are leaving behind the ones whom they care the most about. How can the children and parents muddle through this tragedy? Especially when it is constantly in a parents mind that they may not ever see their children again. Children don’t always understand the importance and the reasons that their parents aren’t with them. Both photographers have used different ways to draw us into their photographs. By using focus, angle, and lighting to tug at our heartstrings, we realize the reality of life as a soldier, as the spouse of a soldier and as the child of a soldier. The focus in the first photograph is on the center of the young boy. The audience doesn’t see anything but this brave young man. He is doing his best not to cry, trying to be the tough young man that his father would be proud of. We don’t see any family members around him trying to comfort this child. Is his mother too distraught to comfort him? Or should we assume that he doesn’t want the comfort offered? He is trying his best to hold back his emotion and to be a brave young man. How much pain must this darling child be suffering? The upward angle and lighting that the photographer used makes the audience think that this young man is a hero. He is standing there facing his pain head on just like his dad was a hero in his own eyes. He is taking the flag which is a symbol of much pride for this child and his family now. This is a very sad day for this little man. The mood is somber and gut wrenching and the lighting reflects the same. The focus in the second photograph is zeroed in on this mother and child. According to ABC News they have just been reunited after nine month being apart. The mother has collapsed onto the floor right where she is. She did not even stop to remove her backpack or to sit comfortably on the ground. Nothing else in the world matters. The airport could burst into flames but all she would feel is the little heartbeat that she has wrapped herself around. You cannot clearly see what is going on outside of this pair. The photographer has blurred out everything around them so that nothing else matters. Just like the emotion that they are feeling. She doesn’t care about anything except the little person that she is holding in her arms. All of the stress from not being with her child is melting away with the tears that she is shedding. This photographer has gotten onto the floor and put himself/herself at the same level as this parent and child. We see what she is feeling we sympathize with the pain she has felt, but unless one has been deployed they cannot truly empathize with them. There is no angle and the subjects of this photo are completely centered. The lighting is bright and cheerful to exhibit an end to the pain. They are together once again and nothing can dim that happiness at this specific moment in time. Each of these scenes are sad. One of them show us the end of life as it is known and the other portrays and end to the sadness. The feelings that each photographer has made us feel are frightening to most. We love our families and want to be able to give them the world. We also want to teach them our love for country. How does a mother explain to her child that his father will never be able to throw a football with him again, never be able to say, “This is my son and I am so proud of the man that he has become.”? Americans feel extreme grief right along with this little boy. They also feel the relief of a mother who has her darling angel in her arms again.

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