remembrance: coverage of the memorial at fort hood

Posted on November 11, 2009

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Where to even begin?

First off, my thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those killed and injured in the Fort Hood shooting. I could never imagine the pain they must be dealing with, and I can only hope that with time the void left soon heals.

To cover this event was somewhat bittersweet. Here I stood, a fish out of water–a simple university photojournalist working alongside photographers of the NY Times, the LA Times, Associated Press, Dallas Morning News, Austin American-Statesman, the Washington Post, and more. My 70-200 felt like a child’s toy compared to the 600mm’s hovering over my head. My intimidation of the big dogs surrounding me quickly faded though as the focus of my job came into vision.

Trapped like animals in a zoo cage, the photographers and media alike ran around, shooting this and shooting that. As pictures came into play, and faces looked back at me through the viewfinder of my camera, the real reason as to why we are all gathered sunk in.

It’s scary to think about what happened. 13 dead. It’s a whole different experience when instead of such horrible tragedies being thousands of miles away, they are just 2 hours from my home up interstate 35.

My goal was not to just capture the speech, but the little moments shared between family members and friends as they gather to mourn the loss of their brothers, sisters, wives, and husbands. I can only hope my photos show the true story of today, and successfully illustrate the somber feelings that surrounded us all that powerful day.

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