A Sailors Christmas
I think with the Army Navy Game today and the time-honored tradition, that not only the game brings, but for me the institution this day has become, this is the image I have chosen to share. I have watched 49 of the 59 years I have spent on this earth with my dad and have not missed a year since his journey on this earth ended, but I know he has a front row seat.
This image was taken on January 18 2009 in the Duluth Harbor of Lake Superior. 9 months later my dad died and at Christmas that year... I took a picture of the wreath we laid on his grave and created what I titled A Sailors Christmas in honor of my dad and my first Christmas without him. Little did I know that 3 years later on his birthday November 2nd, I would receive am email from the United States Navy asking to use this image for the theme of their Holiday Concert at DAR Constitution Hall, in Washington DC. I was so overwhelmed, humbled and completely over-the moon happy! That day I received the highest accolade that I could every have wished for with my love of this thing I do…Photography.
After talking with the Navy, they learned the story of my dad and his time in the Navy and included it in the program. Most of you know that my dad was orphaned during the depression and by the grace of God and a scheming aunt, who changed his birth certificate. He joined the Navy on his 15th birthday. He spent the next 21 years serving on the USS Ranger and a Sub Chaser in the North Atlantic. He was in Japan and was a member of the forces that liberated Norway and the end of WWII. He served in Korea and retired from active duty in 1972. The Navy gave him a home, stability and opportunity and next to God and his family there is nothing that he loved more.
Having my image used in this way, represented all the good my dad instilled in me and it was just one small way that I could say thank you.
I was fortunate enough to attend that concert and made life long friends from the US Naval Band and wouldn’t have traded that day for anything.