A Very Special Morning As a Mother, Veteran and Photojournalist
As a veteran, I was honored when I was asked if I’d like to photograph members of the U.S. Coast Guard placing flags on the graves of their fellow shipmates at Arlington National Cemetery as part of the Flags Across America program.
As a mother and photojournalist, it went far beyond just my lens. I asked if it would be okay if I had my daughter and her friend photograph what would be a very moving morning.
You see, my daughter is about to turn 13 this week and for anyone that has a similar species, you know how tough this age is – for them and us. Getting my daughter to not just focus on something outside of her ‘normal’ tween/teen scope of sight, but to see it through the lens and remember it through the images – that, to me, is learning at its best and this, while paying tribute to our veterans at the same time.
In attendance at the flag placing were kids from local youth organizations, the Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard and the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard, among others. After meeting the Commandant – Admiral Paul F. Zukunft, the girls asked me about him and the mission of the USCG. They were clearly awed. We talked about the Deepwater Horizon spill, about saving lives and Coast Guard missions in some of the roughest conditions known to humankind. On the way out, they asked about the size Arlington National Cemetery and the number of those interred. It was an absolutely beautiful, in-so-many-ways, November morning.
What follows are some of the stunning photos taken by my daughter, Rylan Cole and her friend, Rosie Baganz. They’re both 12-years old. Mine can be seen here –http://annapoliscreative.smugmug.com/Flags-Across-America-with-the-/
Thank you to the U.S. Coast Guard for allowing us this tremendous honor. To Rylan and Rosie – stellar work!