EDITORIAL Special Veterans Day tribute: Each photograph has a story

Nov. 09, 2012 @ 01:16 PM

We wanted to do something special for Veterans Day this year. We asked our readers to submit photos of veterans to publish in our paper today.
Our readers answered that call.
More than 400 times.
We were overwhelmed by their response. Pleasantly overwhelmed.
Readers emailed or mailed in photographs.
Many came by our office and delivered them in person.
Older men, in ball caps labeled with their military branch, handed over creased photos. Several photos showed fresh-faced young men wearing crisp uniforms, looking hopeful, full of pride and so young.
Proud parents submitted photos of their daughters and sons still serving.
Sepia gold, black and white and yellowed photographs were mixed with sharper colors of present-day veterans. Some readers didn’t have a photograph to give us. They simply provided the name of a veteran. We ran those names with a picture of the flag.
And as we read the names, branch of service and years served, some made us pause.
One read, “1945, three months. Killed in action.”
His picture shows a soldier with skin so smooth it looks polished, like he didn’t have to shave much yet. And he is smiling.
Maybe his bride sent that to us, or his mother, father or sister who lost a boy they loved so young.
We are publishing all 400-plus photographs of veterans on our pages this week. Each of those photographs has a story. Today and this week, when we look at those names and photographs in our paper, we can think of their stories and what they gave to our country. And we can reflect on those who know what it takes to love a veteran.