Monday, October 12, 2009
Fallen Hero: Stephan Mace
Last Sunday, I was assigned to photograph the arrival of the body of Stephan Mace, 21, who was killed on Oct. 3 during combat in Afghanistan. His body was flown into Leesburg Executive Airport and then he received a police escort back to his home town in Purcellville, VA.
The following day, I photographed his funeral at Purcellville Baptist Church. It was a very quiet and sad event. My camera often acts as an shield against the emotions of an event that I'm witnessing. It was not until later when editing my final selection for the paper that I realized the importance and the sadness of the day.
His death seems to coincide with an increase in focus on the war in Afghanistan, which begun 8 years ago. When this war began Mace would have been 13-years-old. That fact deeply resonates with me.
It was a honor to be able to document these events because my images will become a part of the public record that will memorialize Mace's sacrifice and the sacrifices of all the soldiers that have died fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq.