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Memorial Day 2009

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photograph above taken at the Kingsburg, Ca cemetery (quite possibly the best decorated small town cemetery I visited this Memorial Day)

Though people view Memorial day as the start of summer it is a day that may be forgotten if we don’t put forth the effort to remember. In Gardens of Stone throughout the world today under the heavy weight of sorrow never so long forgotten, half staff flags and playing of taps our Citizens of the United States who have loved ones who served in the military gathered together to honor the memory of our troops interned there. The Central Valley honors our fallen hero’s every Memorial day by placing flags at the grave markers of former U.S Military personnel.

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photograph above also taken at the Kingsburg, Ca cemetery (quite possibly the best decorated small town cemetery I visited this Memorial Day)

Each flag represents a former soldier no longer able to come home to the comfort of their mother, spouse or joyful cries of their children, now lay for eternity buried in places much like this throughout the world. These soldiers often fought for truth, liberty, the advancement of the Juedo Christian ideas throughout the world, for the oppressed and against the tyrants who unjustly took the life of many in their own name. Whatever their drive it is these very reasons for service that comforts those now left behind, their loved ones cherish the differences made in the world and look forward to  opportunity to come together with others that understand.

Each year I feel as though I better understand the feelings of those that morn the death of their loved ones, celebrating the life that they had and the difference that they were able to make in the world. Years past I understood that my Grandfather on my mothers side had been in the military but it wasn’t until recently that I began to understand what role he had in the military. I simply knew him as grandpa but there were stories that I never knew only now starting to surface. Each year I am able to celebrate the difference that our troops have had throughout the world and honor those who still serve.

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photograph above taken at the Reedley, Ca cemetery (one small town cemetery I visited this Memorial Day)

Steven Curtis Chapman and Michael W. Smith

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It was with great honor that I recently attended the Steven Curtis Chapman/ Michael W. Smith United Tour concert held at the Visalia convention center as one of their 2 commissioned photographers. Growing up in the Central San Joaquin Valley’s Bible Belt has brought me many great opportunities, this being one of them.

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Many thanks to Forrest Cavale of Third Element Studio’s for extending the invitation to photograph the even along side of him.