AVTT WALL
"The INTRODUCTION" - by Danny Barton

Intro-wall I have attended and shot my camera at the last eight "Salute to American Veterans" motorcycle rallies. I am drawn to the event naturally as I am a biker and a veteran. However, as a photographer, I come to the event because I feel I capture better images of people when emotion is involved. When thousands of great people come together to honor our brave veterans...well to say it is emotional doesn't really get the message across.

The photograph seen here which I have titled "The Introduction" has generated more than a modicum of emotion in me as well as all who have heard the story behind it. I feel it is the best image I will shoot this year. While I am a firm believer that a good photograph needs no words and I to me, this one complies with that rule, I am compelled to tell this story.

After shooting the photo, I introduced myself to the man and his wife. We had a brief conversation in which he said something I will never forget. As tears welled in his eyes, he told me while he and his best friend were in ‘nam; they vowed to each other that they both would live long enough to introduce each other to their grandsons. He said it was a terrible shame that he had to introduce his grandson to his friend this way and it broke his heart.
...It did mine too. I shook his hand and welcomed him home.


If you visit the Traveling Wall in Winter Park for the "Salute To American Veterans" rally next year...you'll want to take some Kleenex.

- Danny Barton

Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 July 2014 11:28