Archive for Memorial Day

At The Rolling Thunder Parade: Gallery Of Images

Posted in 50mm Apo Summicron Asph, Leica Images, Leica Monochrom, photography with tags , , , , , , on May 28, 2017 by johnbuckley100

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All images Leica Monochrom (Typ-246) and 50mm APO-Summicron-Asph

Donald Trump may have gotten 4% of the vote in the District of Columbia, but in certain precincts over Memorial Day Weekend here in the Nation’s Capital, we’d bet his vote was higher.

One can’t help but be moved by some of those who come each year, many by motorcycle, to celebrate Memorial Day.  For everyone who comes for fellowship, a good ride, a fun weekend, there are others in possession of raw emotions, more than 40 years after the Vietnam War, and memories of their loved ones and earlier selves.  We came upon this fellow sitting by himself, a few yards from the Wall.

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This ritual each year means a lot to our visitors who roll in from around the country.

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And some wars are never over.  (We see this guy here every year.)

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While some wait patiently for the Rolling Thunder motorcycles to come roaring by, others go into the pedestrian mall set up every year, to buy food and insignia, motorcycle gear, even holsters.

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And while few are still on active duty, some carry their rank with them wherever they go.

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While others carry the burden of their lives in the sadness of their eyes.

Memorial Day 2017 Rolling Thunder

Reflections On The 2016 Memorial Day Weekend On The National Mall

Posted in Leica M, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on May 29, 2016 by johnbuckley100

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Every year, we go down to the National Mall over the Memorial Day weekend.  It’s a fitting, and moving, visit to make, and a pretty amazing opportunity to capture a wide spectrum of humanity and emotions as thousands of veterans arrive, often on Harleys, and visit the Vietnam Memorial.

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African Americans and rural whites come to the Memorial to reflect on loved ones lost.  In fact, as we were there yesterday, the woman on the left below was saying to her friend that she comes here every year to mourn her father, but that even though he had to die in Vietnam, she wouldn’t want him to have lived if it meant someone else’s father had to die.

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It’s not all mournful though.  The motorcyclists come in force for their Rolling Thunder ride, which takes place today, in fact, and more on that in a moment.

Rolling Thunder Sunday batch MorotcycleRolling Thunder 2016-3Rolling Thunder 2016-4It is, in its own way — and in recognition that this is a summer ritual, a three-day holiday weekend that kicks off summer — festive.  People come to eat and see their friends and there is commerce on the edge of the Mall.  As of course there is.  ‘Murica.

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But what makes this event each year so meaningful is the essential apolitical nature of people coming to Washington, motivated by a desire to celebrate their participation in our nation’s wars, by the desire to shine the light on POWs and MIAs. Rolling Thunder Sunday batch Morotcycle-2

Which is why we found ourselves yesterday — and honestly, today — so disturbed by the notion that Donald Trump plans on coming to the Mall today to hold a rally with the Rolling Thunder riders.  Forget for just a moment the notion of this proto-fascist on the National Mall, mere yards from the White House literally, and figuratively, revving up the crowd of Harley riders.  No matter what he says, he will have spoiled what is essential about this weekend, here, each year.  Which is the essential poignancy of those reflecting on a sacrifice he dodged, and the reminder of the consequences of those who would recklessly send young American men and women off to war.

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Rolling Thunder 2016-12All images Leica M-240 and 50mm Noctilux.  To follow John Buckley on Twitter: @johnbuckley100.  On Instagram: tulip_frenzy.

Before The Thunder Gets Rolling

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on May 28, 2016 by johnbuckley100

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Hundreds, maybe thousands of motorcycles already gathering at the National Mall in advance of tomorrow’s annual Rolling Thunder commemoration of POWs and the MIA in Vietnam.  Mixed emotions this year with the news that Trump, a draft-dodging bloviator, is speaking to the crowd.  Wonder which way this guy will go.

Leica M, 50mm Noctilux, ND filter. Wide Open, ISO 200

And This Is What They Fought For

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on May 25, 2015 by johnbuckley100

Memorial Day’s eve, Washington, D.C., May 24th, 2015

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Memorial Day Color kayaks

At The Vietnam Memorial, Name Recognition

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on May 25, 2015 by johnbuckley100

In a fantastic piece by Charles Blow in today’s New York Times, Civil War historian David W. Blight is quoted on the solemn event at war’s end when freed African-Americans reburied dead Union prisoners of war, and “staged a parade of 10,000” around the cemetery where they lay.

“After the dedication, the crowd dispersed into the infield and did what many of us do on Memorial Day: enjoyed picnics, listened to speeches, and watched soldiers drill.”

“The war was over,” wrote Blight, “and Memorial Day had been founded by African-Americans in a ritual of remembrance and consecration.”

We thought of these words this morning, at the Vietnam Memorial.

Memorial Day BW Name Recognition

On Memorial Day

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on May 26, 2014 by johnbuckley100

Leica M, 35mm Summilux Asph FLE.

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Memorial Day In The Nation’s Capital

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on May 27, 2013 by johnbuckley100

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Leica M9, 50mm Noctilux

Going down to the Vietnam Memorial on Memorial Day stirs up emotions for many, though for others it takes on the feeling of a reunion, or a street fair.

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Leica M9, 50mm APO-Summicron-Asph

Old friends gather, while others view the assemblage as an opportunity to sell goods or services.

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Leica M9, 50mm APO-Summicron-Asph

But the principal reason for being there is to commemorate the lives of those who sacrificed for their family and their country.

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Leica M9, 50mm Noctilux

There are still unhealed wounds and bitterness, arguments unfinished after 40 years.

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Leica M9, 50mm APO-Summicron-Asph

Happily, for many this is a holiday to celebrate the nation, and the beginning of summer.

Stars and Stripes

 

Leica M9, 50mm APO-Summicron-Asph

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