This handsome soldier is World War II veteran Harold Zatkowsky. At the age of 79, he attended the dedication of the WWII Memorial in Washington, DC. I recorded our adventure on my first serious digital camera, a Nikon D70.
The dedication of the WWII Memorial in Washington, DC, inspired me to invest in my first digital SLR, a Nikon D70. My father, 79 at the time, wanted to attend, so my sister, brother and I made it happen. My sister and her husband took care of my mom here in California, I secured tickets and took my dad to DC, where my brother and his wife housed and shuttled us. Our family works well together.
If I was really motivated, I would reprocess all of these images, as I shot in RAW and nowadays I know a lot more about post-processing. But I sort of like the innocence/magic of my first foray into serious digital imaging being attached to this wonderful moment in time.
Part of the celebration of the week was a national reunion. Here a representative of the National Archives interviews dad as he shares his scrapbooks.
People used these bulletin boards to find old buddies. Dad and I must have checked these boards a hundred times, but he didn't find anyone from his unit.
Dad was in artillery, and every shell they fired weighed more than he did. They landed two days after D-Day and did the full trek into Berlin. He was 17 when he enlisted. What were you doing when you were 17? I'd tell you what I was doing, but this is a family blog.
WWII veterans were treated like heroes all week. Active soldiers in period garb roamed the National Mall, and never missed an opportunity to thank Dad for his service.
I took hundreds of pictures, but Dad is probably in thousands, because everyone on the mall seemed to want a picture with him. (On the Internet, no one can see me get all choked up).
It was a long week, with a lot of walking every day, and we headed home with a lot on our minds.
If you’d like to see more of the images from this trip, they’re here.