Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A look back at Memorial Day: "Nothing more to say..."

By Greg Heins
The most memorable photograph I've seen in the past couple of years is by John Moore, a Getty photographer, taken in Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day weekend, 2007.
John Moore wrote this about that day at Arlington:
'One Memorial Day weekend, in 2007, I took my family to Arlington,' photographer John Moore told, talking about this almost unbearable picture. 'I went to photograph, but also just to visit, having covered so much war over the years. Mary McHugh had lost her fiancé, Sergeant Jimmy Regan, in February 2007 to a roadside bomb while he was in Iraq. She and I spoke about Jimmy, and about some of the places in Iraq he and I had both been, although we'd never met.
I find it an unspeakably poignant image; I come back to it again and again. The remarkable physical beauty of the young woman, the angel-wing-like curves of her hunched shoulder blades, the soft backlighting, the bits of gaudy color beyond her, the two people watching way beyond the graves, everything about it is just completely evocative. To me, it adds something to know that Mr. Moore is himself a war photographer (he was, for example, the photographer in the car just ahead of Ms. Bhutto's when she was assassinated) who was visiting the cemetery that day with his very pregnant wife and young daughter. 
There's really nothing more to say.

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