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The real veterans

By Aldo Panzieri
Every weekend a small group of people, the family and friends of fallen solders gather at the beach next to the Santa Monica pier to layout a tribute to brave young men and women who will never come back. They work with the precision of people who have a job many times. Engineers layout a grid of neat lines. A cross grid makes the place for each cross. The people world silently. Mixed in with those who have suffered a grave sadness and loss are off duty soldiers, politicians, movie stars, retired military officers who send these soldiers into war. During the week this area of the beach is one of the most densely populated pieces of sand in the world. The crosses go up quickly as night falls. Just as they did long ago the survivors of wars past march as sentries and guardians of this place. Silently moving through the night, No one so cruel as to desecrates this place dares to come close. These sentries are men and women of war. Violate this place at your own risk.

As the sun comes the visitors start to arrive. Some to pray, some to mourn a loss so great that it will never end. All day long. As night fall the sentries again take their places. Sunday evening, all this will disappear until next weekend. When I took this picture, there we six hundred crosses. Now there are almost eight thousand.

Tags: Photo journalism The real veterans

Voters: Potra, G3, RonnieAG and 8 more

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Comments


Potra 3 Venezuela
20 Jul 2013 4:35AM
Essential narrative for a very impressive image.
Perfect photo-journalism.
M

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RonnieAG Plus
7 153 116 Scotland
20 Jul 2013 6:44AM
A very moving narrative about the image: great that so much effort is put in to the memory of the fallen.
Ronnie.
DeSilver Plus
9 13 11 England
20 Jul 2013 8:24AM
Excellent narrative and what a sad sad waste of human life.Sad


David.
mrswoolybill Plus
10 990 1514 United Kingdom
20 Jul 2013 1:38PM
Intensely moving, private thoughts and a few names and flowers amid the regimented anonymous lines. Every one of those crosses is a human life.
Moira
pcheywood 11 1.3k England
26 Jul 2013 10:44AM
Great commentary for a great shot.

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