The Photo of the Week is posted every Monday. Each photo aims to document the things I've seen, places I've been and all sorts of curious things I have encountered as I go about my daily activities. Along with the photo I will provide some background and interesting facts about the image and some technical information as well.
In the photo above, Speaker of the House John Boehner speaks to an assemblage of Montfort Point Marines in Washington DC who were being honored for their service for the years 1942 - 1949. In addition to being addressed by senators and other political leaders, the marines were given a grand military parade and a gold medal. War is brutal enough as it is but this large troop of African-American marines had to deal with racial segregation under the authority of the military system, unselfishly fighting for a country for which they had few rights or freedoms of their own. The segregation carried over to the living quarters at Camp Lejeune where the black marines endured living conditions that were deplorable and not comparable to their white counterparts.
Given the fact that security for this event was a high priority, I was a little concerned about my large backpack full of camera gear. I had all of my lenses with me because I wanted to be ready for any situation that I would face. In the end, I was never approached the entire time by any member of security possibly because I looked like I belonged with the "press." I noticed a bunch of press photographers who were taking turns snapping pictures from a raised platform that gave them a better view of the proceedings. I can't believe I did this but I actually made my way to the platform and took some shots from it!
Although each political speaker delivered a different speech during the ceremony, one theme rang true: This recognition was long overdue! Sadly, many of those who fought were killed in battle or had passed away years later so they were honored posthumously. I attended this ceremony with my sister because our father was one of these marines being honored that day and words can't describe how proud we were of him. Semper Fidelis!
Equipment and Settings
1/400 sec at f2.8, ISO 1250
Canon 70-200mm f2.8 IS USM lens set at 100mm