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Prof. Boerner's Explorations

Thoughts and Essays that explore the world of Technology, Computers, Photography, History and Family.


Archive for November 13th, 2009
by Gerald Boerner


“But in all my travels, I have found no place more beautiful than Martha’s Vineyard.”
— Alfred Eisenstaedt

“[The photographer’s job] to find and catch the storytelling moment," and time and again he succeeded.”
— Alfred Eisenstaedt

“He knew exactly what he was looking for in a story, and where to position himself…”
— Cornell Capa

“His use of the 35-millimeter camera was superb. And he appreciated light; he hardly ever used artificial light. His influence is with all of us.”
— Cornell Capa

“When on the island I can take my time and photograph what I want when I want. It is nice to relax and  take photographs without a deadline or tight shooting schedule.”
— Alfred Eisenstaedt

“I can tell you what the weather was, what film and camera settings I used, what the people talked about and many other details surrounding each photographic moment. I remember all these things like it was yesterday…”
— Alfred Eisenstaedt

“I ended the assignment on the Galapagos before I was fully satisfied with what we had completed. But, for some reason I felt I wanted to return so I could have my summer on Martha’s Vineyard.”
— Alfred Eisenstaedt

“It bothers some people when I tell them what I think, but life is too short for me to pretend when someone is being rude or thoughtless. So, I tell them. Sometimes people get offended and don’t talk to me. I can’t help that.”
— Alfred Eisenstaedt


Alfred Eisenstaedt (1898 – 1995)

William Eise2 Alfred Eisenstaedt was a German American photographer and photojournalist. He is renowned for his candid photographs, frequently made using a 35mm Leica M3 rangefinder camera. He is best known for his photograph capturing the celebration of V-J Day.

Eisenstaedt was born into a Jewish family in Dirschau (Tczew) in West Prussia, Imperial Germany. His family moved to Berlin in 1906. Eisenstaedt served in the German Army’s artillery during World War I, being wounded on April 9, 1918. While working as a belt and button salesman in 1920s Weimar Germany, Eisenstaedt began taking photographs as a freelancer for the Berliner Tageblatt.

Professional photographer

Eisenstaedt_Hitler and Mussolini Eisenstaedt was successful enough to become a full-time photographer in 1929. Four years later he photographed a meeting between Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini in Italy. Other notable pictures taken by Eisenstaedt in his early career include a waiter ice skating in St. Moritz in 1932 and Joseph Goebbels at the League of Nations in Geneva in 1933. Although initially friendly, Goebbels scowled for the photograph when he learned that Eisenstaedt was Jewish.

Because of oppression in Hitler’s Nazi Germany, Eisenstaedt emigrated to the United States in 1935, where he lived in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York, for the rest of his life. He worked as a photographer for Life magazine from 1936 to 1972. His photos of news events and celebrities, such as Dagmar, Sophia Loren and Ernest Hemingway, appeared on 90 Life covers.

Dagmar life 071651 As Dagmar rose to fame
on Broadway Open House,
Alfred Eisenstaedt
photographed her
for the July 16, 1951
issue of Life.

Over a career that lasted more than 50 years, Mr. Eisenstaedt became famous as the quintessential Life photographer, producing more than 2,500 picture stories and 90 covers for the magazine. He was especially renowned for his ability to capture memorable images of important people in the news, including statesmen, movie stars and artists.

In 1936, his extraordinary involvement with Life began. One of the four original photographers hired by the magazine (the others were Margaret Bourke-White, Thomas McAvoy and Peter Stackpole), Mr. Eisenstaedt soon distinguished himself with candid shots taken with a Leica camera. He had begun using the unobtrusive 35-millimeter model in Germany in 1929, four years after its invention.

Eisenstaedt_George Bernard Shaw He became known at the magazine for his ability to bring back visually striking pictures from almost any assignment. Among the many celebrities he photographed were figures as diverse as Churchill, John F. Kennedy, Charlie Chaplin, Marilyn Monroe, George Bernard Shaw and Marlene Dietrich.

His mastery of the Leica allowed him to capture his subjects in unguarded moments, creating a sense of intimacy. In a picture from 1947, for example, the physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer puffs on a cigarette as he stands in front of a blackboard covered with mathematical formulas.

Eisenstaedt_Headwaiter Though he was not considered a great visual stylist, Mr. Eisenstaedt was almost invariably able to communicate the essence of a story in a single image. The photographer’s job, he once wrote, is "to find and catch the storytelling moment," and time and again he succeeded.

The stories his pictures tell are often touched by a gentle humor. A 1930 shot at a waiters’ school in St. Moritz, Switzerland shows a headwaiter in black tie and tails ice-skating with a full tray of glasses resting delicately on his fingertips. In a picture taken in 1950 in Ann Arbor, Mich., a high-stepping drum major in shiny boots and tall shako leads a ragtag parade of children across a campus lawn.

Martha’s Vineyard

Eisenstaedt_Menemsha Harbor Eisenstaedt, known as "Eisie" to his close friends, enjoyed his annual August vacations on the island of Martha’s Vineyard for 50 years. When on assignment in the Galapagos Islands, Eisenstaedt left the Galapagos prior to the assignment’s completion so he could arrive on time for his Vineyard vacation in the Menemsha area of the town of Chilmark. During his Vineyard summers, he would conduct photographic "experiments," by working with various lenses, filters, and prisms, but always working with natural light.

Eisenstaedt_Gay Head Lighthouse Eisenstaedt was fond of Martha’s Vineyard’s photogenic lighthouses, and was the focus of lighthouse fund raisers for the Vineyard Environmental Research Institute (VERI), the lease-holder of the lighthouses. One fund raiser was titled "Eisenstaedt Day" and was an international event. The last Eisenstaedt lighthouse fundraiser was held in August 1995, the month of his death on Martha’s Vineyard.

"His use of the 35-millimeter camera was superb," added Mr. Capa, who organized three shows of Mr. Eisenstaedt’s work at the International Center of Photography. "And he appreciated light; he hardly ever used artificial light. His influence is with all of us."

Eisenstaedt and the Clintons Eisenstaedt’s last photographs were of President Bill Clinton with wife, Hillary, and daughter, Chelsea, on August 1993, at the Granary Gallery in West Tisbury on Martha’s Vineyard. This historic "private" photo-session took place in a fenced-in courtyard protected by the Secret Service for over one hour, and was fully documented by William E. Marks. Marks, who took hundreds of photographs of Eisenstaedt in every situation imaginable for over ten years, also photographed Eisenstaedt signing his famous V-J Day photograph on the morning of his passing.

Eisenstaedt died in his bed at midnight in his beloved Menemsha Inn cottage known as the "Pilot House".

V–J day in Times Square

Vj_day_kiss Eisenstaedt’s most famous photograph is of an American sailor kissing a young woman on August 14, 1945 in Times Square. (The photograph is known under various names: V–J day in Times Square, V–Day, etc.) Because Eisenstaedt was photographing rapidly changing events during the V-J Day celebrations, he didn’t get a chance to get names and details, which has encouraged a number of mutually incompatible claims.

The photograph was published on the cover of Life and quickly became a classic example of photojournalism. In recent months it has been widely reproduced in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the war’s end.

Eisenstaedt_Robert Oppenheimer His mastery of the Leica allowed him to capture his subjects in unguarded moments, creating a sense of intimacy. In a picture from 1947, for example, the physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer puffs on a cigarette as he stands in front of a blackboard covered with mathematical formulas.

The stories his pictures tell are often touched by a gentle humor. A 1930 shot at a waiters’ school in St. Moritz, Switzerland shows a headwaiter in black tie and tails ice-skating with a full tray of glasses resting delicately on his fingertips. In a picture taken in 1950 in Ann Arbor, Mich., a high-stepping drum major in shiny boots and tall shako leads a ragtag parade of children across a campus lawn.

Eisenstaedt_Stone Walls Cornell Capa, founder of the International Center of Photography in New York City and a longtime photographer for Life, praised Mr. Eisenstaedt’s skill as a photojournalist. "He knew exactly what he was looking for in a story, and where to position himself" to get the most telling picture, he said yesterday.

Called Eisie by his friends, Mr. Eisenstaedt was legendary for his energy and enthusiasm. He kept an office at Life up to his death and visited the magazine nearly every day. "He told me, if I don’t go, I’ll die," said Gordon Parks, the film director and photographer, who worked with Mr. Eisenstaedt at Life for more than 20 years.


Background and biographical information is from Wikipedia articles on:

Alfred Eisenstaedt that can be found at…

Other References:

Interview with Alfred Eisenstaedt

Alfred Eisenstaedt, Photographer of the Defining Moment, Is Deat at 96

by Gerald Boerner


“Were it not for the Navajos, the Marines would never have taken Iwo Jima.”
— Major Howard Connor

“Navajo Code Talkers played an important role in creating a code that the Japanese could not break.”
— Katrena Wells,

“(1) It is an unwritten language of extreme complexity. (2) It’s syntax , tonal qualities and dialects make it extremely baffling to anyone who hasn’t been taught it. (3) And, they were fast!”
— Major General Clayton B. Vogel on the Navajo language

“The idea to use Navajo for secure communications came from Philip Johnston, the son of a missionary to the Navajos and one of the few non-Navajos who spoke their language fluently.”
— Alexander Molnar, Jr.

“…the Japanese were adept at breaking the numerous early codes in World War II. These codes became so elaborate that a three line message might take thirty minutes to decipher, which rendered time-sensitive communication useless.”
— Katrena Wells,

“Navajo remained potentially valuable as code even after the war. For that reason, the code talkers, whose skill and courage saved both American lives and military engagements, only recently earned recognition from the Government and the public.”
— Alexander Molnar, Jr.


Veterans Day: Native American Code Talkers

Navajo_Code_Talkers Code talkers is a term used to describe people who talk using a coded language. It is frequently used to describe Native Americans who served in the United States Marine Corps whose primary job was the transmission of secret tactical messages. Code talkers transmitted these messages over military telephone or radio communications nets using formal or informally developed codes built upon their native languages. Their service was very valuable because it enhanced the communications security of vital front line operations during World War II.

The name code talkers is strongly associated with bilingual Navajo speakers specially recruited during World War II by the Marines to serve in their standard communications units in the Pacific Theater. Other Native American code talkers were used by the United States Army during World War II, using Cherokee, Choctaw and Comanche soldiers. Soldiers of Basque ancestry were used for code talking by the US Marines during World War II in areas where other Basque speakers were not expected to be operating.

The Cherokees… The first known use of Native Americans in the American military to transmit messages under fire was a group of Cherokee troops utilized by the American 30th Infantry Division serving alongside the British during the Second Battle of the Somme. According to the Division Signal Officer, this took place in September 1918. Their outfit was under British command at the time.

Choctaw Coders The Choctaws… In the days of World War I, company commander Captain Lawrence of the U. S. Army overheard Solomon Louis and Mitchell Bobb conversing in the Choctaw language. He found eight Choctaw men in the battalion. Eventually, fourteen Choctaw men in the Army’s 36th Infantry Division trained to use their language in code. They helped the American Expeditionary Force win several key battles in the Meuse-Argonne Campaign in France, during the final big German push of the war. Within 24 hours after the Choctaw language was pressed into service, the tide of the battle had turned. In less than 72 hours the Germans were retreating and the Allies were in full attack.

Comanche_Code_Talkers The Comanches… Adolf Hitler knew about the successful use of code talkers during World War I. He sent a team of some thirty anthropologists to learn Native American languages before the outbreak of World War II. However, it proved too difficult for them to learn the many languages and dialects that existed. Because of Nazi German anthropologists’ attempts to learn the languages, the U.S. Army did not implement a large-scale code talker program in the European Theater. Fourteen Comanche code talkers took part in the Invasion of Normandy, and continued to serve in the 4th Infantry Division during further European operations. Comanches of the 4th Signal Company compiled a vocabulary of over 100 code terms using words or phrases in their own language. Using a substitution method similar to the Navajo, the Comanche code word for tank was "turtle", bomber was "pregnant airplane", machine gun was "sewing machine" and Adolf Hitler became "crazy white man."

The Meskwakis… Meskwaki men used their language against the Germans in North Africa. Twenty-seven Meskwaki, then 16% of Iowa’s Meskwaki population, enlisted in the U.S. Army together in January 1941.

The Basques… Captain Frank D. Carranza conceived the idea of using the Basque language for codes in May 1942 upon meeting about 60 US Marines of Basque ancestry in a San Francisco camp. His superiors were justifiably wary. There were 35 Basque Jesuits in Hiroshima, led by Pedro Arrupe. In China and the Philippines, there was a colony of Basque jai alai players and there were Basque supporters of Falange in Asia. The American Basque code talkers were kept from these theaters; they were initially used in tests and in transmitting logistic information for Hawaii and Australia.

The Navajos… Philip Johnston proposed the use of Navajo to the United States Marine Corps at the beginning of World War II. Johnston, a World War I veteran, was raised on the Navajo reservation as the son of a missionary to the Navajos, and was one of the few non-Navajos who spoke their language fluently. Because Navajo has a complex grammar, is nearly a language isolate, and was an unwritten language, Johnston saw Navajo as answering the military requirement for an undecipherable code. Navajo was spoken only on the Navajo lands of the American Southwest, and its syntax and tonal qualities, not to mention dialects, make it unintelligible to anyone without extensive exposure and training. One estimate indicates that at the outbreak of World War II fewer than 30 non-Navajos, none of them Japanese, could understand the language.

WWII_military_pacific_navajo_pima_island_hopping General Douglas MacArthur met
with Native American code talkers
in late 1943. Pictured: one man
each from the Pima, Pawnee
and Chitimacha peoples, and
two Navajo men.

Early in 1942, Johnston met with Major General Clayton B. Vogel, the commanding general of Amphibious Corps, Pacific Fleet, and his staff. Johnston staged tests under simulated combat conditions which demonstrated that Navajos could encode, transmit, and decode a three-line English message in 20 seconds, versus the 30 minutes required by machines at that time. The idea was accepted, with Vogel recommending that the Marines recruit 200 Navajos. The first 29 Navajo recruits attended boot camp in May 1942. This first group then created the Navajo code at Camp Pendleton, Oceanside, California. The Navajo code was formally developed and modeled on the Joint Army/Navy Phonetic Alphabet that uses agreed-upon English words to represent letters. As it was determined that phonetically spelling out all military terms letter by letter into words—while in combat—would be too time consuming, some terms, concepts, tactics and instruments of modern warfare were given uniquely formal descriptive nomenclatures in Navajo (the word for "potato" being used to refer to a hand grenade, or "tortoise" to a tank, for example). Several of these portmanteaus (such as gofasters referring to running shoes, ink sticks for pens) entered Marine corps vocabulary and are commonly used today to refer to the appropriate objects.

The Navajo code talkers were commended for their skill, speed and accuracy accrued throughout the war. At Iwo Jima, Major Howard Connor, 5th Marine Division signal officer, had six Navajo code talkers working around the clock during the first two days of the battle. These six sent and received over 800 messages, all without error. Connor later stated, "Were it not for the Navajos, the Marines would never have taken Iwo Jima."

Navajo_Code_Talker_Monument As the war progressed, additional code words were added on and incorporated program-wide. In other instances, informal short-cut code words were devised for a particular campaign and not disseminated beyond the area of operation. To ensure a consistent use of code terminologies throughout the Pacific Theater, representative code talkers of each of the U.S. Marine divisions met in Hawaii to discuss shortcomings in the code, incorporate new terms into the system, and update their codebooks. These representatives in turn trained other code talkers who could not attend the meeting.

The deployment of the Navajo code talkers continued through the Korean War and after, until it was ended early in the Vietnam War.

Cryptographic properties

Non-speakers would find it extremely difficult to accurately distinguish unfamiliar sounds used in these languages. Additionally, a speaker who has acquired a language during their childhood sounds distinctly different from a person who acquired the same language in later life, thus reducing the chance of successful impostors sending false messages. Finally, the additional layer of an alphabet cypher was added to prevent interception by native speakers not trained as code talkers, in the event of their capture by the Japanese. A similar system employing Welsh was used by British forces, but not to any great extent during World War II. Welsh was used more recently in the Balkan peace-keeping efforts for non-vital messages.

Navajo was an attractive choice for code use because few people outside the Navajo themselves had ever learned to speak the language. Virtually no books in Navajo had ever been published. Outside of the language itself, the Navajo spoken code was not very complex by cryptographic standards and would likely have been broken if a native speaker and trained cryptographers worked together effectively. The Japanese had an opportunity to attempt this when they captured Joe Kieyoomia in the Philippines in 1942 during the Bataan Death March. Kieyoomia, a Navajo Sergeant in the U.S. Army, was ordered to interpret the radio messages later in the war. However, since Kieyoomia had not participated in the code training, the messages made no sense to him. When he reported that he could not understand the messages, his captors tortured him.. Given the simplicity of the alphabet code involved, it is probable that the code could have been broken easily if Kieyoomia’s knowledge of the language had been exploited more effectively by Japanese cryptographers. The Japanese Imperial Army and Navy never cracked the spoken code. High-ranking military officers have stated that the United States would never have won the Battle of Iwo Jima without the secrecy afforded by the code talkers.


Background and biographical information is from Wikipedia articles on:

The Native American Code Talkers that can be found at…

by Gerald Boerner


“…wound that is closed and healing.”
— Said of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial

“When the soldiers came home from Vietnam, there were no parades, no celebrations. So they built the Vietnam Memorial for themselves.”
— General William Westmoreland

“I started studying what the nature of a monument is and what a monument should be. And for the World War III memorial I designed a futile, almost terrifying passage that ends nowhere.”
— Maya Lin, Designer of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial

“I deliberately did not read anything about the Vietnam War because I felt the politics of the war eclipsed what happened to the veterans. The politics were irrelevant to what this memorial was.”
— Maya Lin, Designer of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial

“[the scorn of fellow Americans] were unable to distinguish between our native distaste for war and the stainless patriotism of those who suffered its scars.”
— Ronald Reagan

“In memory of the men and women who served in the Vietnam War and later died as a result of their service. We honor and remember their sacrifice.”
— Plaque on Vietnam Veterans’ Wall

“Our memorial had to be paid for by private contributions in a largely volunteer effort organized by people whose principal reward would be knowing they had honored those whom the nation managed to ignore.”
Jan Scruggs, Vietnam War Veteran

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington, D.C.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial_TouchWall The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is a national war memorial in Washington, D.C. It honors members of the U.S. armed forces who fought in the Vietnam War and who died in service or are still unaccounted for.

Its construction and related issues have been the source of controversies, some of which have resulted in additions to the memorial complex. The memorial currently consists of three separate parts: the Three Soldiers statue, the Vietnam Women’s Memorial, and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, which is the best-known part of the memorial.

The memorial was inspired by Jan Scruggs, an infantryman who served in Vietnam with the U.S. Army’s 199th Light Infantry Brigade. In March 1979, he saw The Deer Hunter, which reminded him “of the people he’d seen suffer and die in Vietnam”. That night he decided to build a memorial with the names of everyone killed in the Vietnam War.

The main part of the memorial, which was completed in 1982, is in Constitution Gardens adjacent to the National Mall, just northeast of the Lincoln Memorial. The memorial is maintained by the U.S. National Park Service, and receives around 3 million visitors each year. The Memorial Wall was designed by U.S. landscape architect Maya Lin. The typesetting of the original 58,159 names on the wall was performed by Datalantic in Atlanta, Georgia. In 2007, it was ranked tenth on the “List of America’s Favorite Architecture” by the American Institute of Architects.

The memorial reflects as a mirror reflects, so that when you find the name you’re searching for you find it in your own reflection. And as you touch it, from certain angles, you’re touching, too, the reflection of the Washington Monument or the chair in which great Abe Lincoln sits. Those who fought in Vietnam are part of us, part of our history. They reflected the best in us. No number of wreaths, no amount of music and memorializing will ever do them justice, but it is good for us that we honor them and their sacrifice. And it’s good that we do it in the reflected glow of the enduring symbols of our Republic. — Ronald Reagan.

Memorial Wall

Walking by Vietnam Memorial The Memorial Wall, designed by Maya Lin, is made up of two black granite walls 246 feet 9 inches (75 m) long. The walls are sunk into the ground, with the earth behind them. At the highest tip (the apex where they meet), they are 10.1 feet (3 m) high, and they taper to a height of eight inches (20 cm) at their extremities. Granite for the wall came from Bangalore, Karnataka, India, and was deliberately chosen because of its reflective quality. Stone cutting and fabrication was done in Barre, Vermont. Stones were then shipped to Memphis, Tennessee where the names were etched. The etching was completed using a photoemulsion and sandblasting process developed at GlassCraft by their research and development division (now known as Glassical, Inc.). The negatives used in the process are in storage at the Smithsonian Institution.

An aerial photograph of the Wall taken
on April 26, 2002 by the United States
Geological Survey. The dots visible
along the length of the angled
wall are visitors.

When a visitor looks upon the wall, his or her reflection can be seen simultaneously with the engraved names, which is meant to symbolically bring the past and present together. One wall points toward the Washington Monument, the other in the direction of the Lincoln Memorial, meeting at an angle of 125° 12′. Each wall has 72 panels, 70 listing names (numbered 1E through 70E and 70W through 1W) and 2 very small blank panels at the extremities. There is a pathway along the base of the Wall, where visitors may walk, read the names, make a pencil rubbing of a particular name, or pray. Some people leave sentimental items there for their deceased loved ones, and non-perishable items are stored at the Museum and Archaeological Regional Storage Facility, with the exception of miniature American flags.

Vietnam-memorial-soldier Inscribed on the walls with the Optima typeface are the names of servicemen who were either confirmed to be KIA (Killed in Action) or remained classified as MIA (Missing in Action) when the walls were constructed in 1982. They are listed in chronological order, starting at the apex on panel 1E in 1959 (although it was later discovered that the first casualties were military advisers who were killed by artillery fire in 1957), moving day by day to the end of the eastern wall at panel 70E, which ends on May 25, 1968, starting again at panel 70W at the end of the western wall which completes the list for May 25, 1968, and returning to the apex at panel 1W in 1975. Symbolically, this is described as a “wound that is closed and healing.” Information about rank, unit, and decorations are not given.

Names_of_Vietnam_VeteransThe wall listed 58,159 names when it was completed in 1993; as of May 2007, there are 58,261 names, including 8 women. Approximately 1,200 of these are listed as missing (MIAs, POWs, and others), denoted with a cross; the confirmed dead are marked with a diamond. If the missing return alive, the cross is circumscribed by a circle (although this has never occurred as of March 2009 if their death is confirmed, a diamond is superimposed over the cross. According to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, “there is no definitive answer to exactly how many, but there could be as many as 38 names of personnel who survived, but through clerical errors, were added to the list of fatalities provided by the Department of Defense.” Directories are located on nearby podiums so that visitors may locate specific names.

The Three Soldiers

The_Three_Soldiers_USA A short distance away from the wall is another Vietnam memorial, a bronze statue named The Three Soldiers (sometimes called The Three Servicemen). Negative reactions to Lin’s design created a raging controversy; a compromise was reached by commissioning Frederick Hart (who had placed third in the original design competition) to produce a bronze figurative sculpture in the heroic tradition in order to complement the memorial wall. The statue was unveiled in 1984 and depicts three soldiers, purposefully identifiable as White American, African American, and Hispanic American. The statue and the Wall appear to interact with each other, with the soldiers looking on in solemn tribute at the names of their dead comrades. The distance between the two allows them to interact while minimizing the impact of the addition on Lin’s design.

Women’s Memorial

Also part of the memorial is the Vietnam Women’s memorial. It is located a short distance south of the Wall, north of the Reflecting Pool. It was designed by Glenna Goodacre and dedicated on November 11, 1993, to the women of the United States who served in the Vietnam War, most of whom were nurses. The woman looking up is named Hope, the woman praying is named Faith, and the woman tending to a wounded soldier is named Charity.

In Memory memorial plaque

A memorial plaque, authorized by Pub.L. 106-214, was dedicated on November 10, 2004, at the northeast corner of the plaza surrounding the Three Soldiers statue to honor veterans who died after the war as a direct result of injuries suffered in Vietnam, but who fall outside Department of Defense guidelines. The plaque is a carved block of black granite, 3 feet (0.91 m) by 2 feet (0.61 m), inscribed “In memory of the men and women who served in the Vietnam War and later died as a result of their service. We honor and remember their sacrifice.”

Ruth Coder Fitzgerald, founder of The Vietnam War In Memory Memorial Plaque Project, worked for years and struggled against opposition to have the In Memory Memorial Plaque completed. The organization was disbanded, but their web site is maintained by the Vietnam War Project at Texas Tech University

The Wall That Heals

The Wall That Heals is a traveling half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial started in 1996 by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. It also features a Traveling Museum and Information Center.

As the poet Virgil wrote:

Here, too, the honorable finds its due
And there are tears for passing things;
Here, too, things mortal touch the mind.


Other Events on this Day
  • In 1775…
    During the American Revolutionary, Patriot troops under General Richard Montgomery capture Montreal.
  • In 1956…
    The Supreme Court strikes down laws requiring segregation on public buses.
  • In 1971…
    Mariner 9 becomes the first satellite to orbit another planet, Mars.
  • In 1982…
    The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is dedicated in Washington, D.C.

Dates and events based on:

William J. Bennett and John Cribb, (2008) The American Patriot’s Almanac Daily Readings on America. (Kindle Edition)

Background information is from Wikipedia articles on:

Vietnam Veterans Memorial that can be found at…

Photographers: Here is a contemporary mentor for us all… Tony Sweet has produced some great photos. Take a look at this article to get some ideas on how to ratchet up your own photography. It’s always helpful to see examples and ponder how the photographer achieved their results. I guess the watch-word would be "look and learn"… Let me know if this helps…

Interview with Tony Sweet| 

Tony Sweet is one of my all time personal favourite photographers and he has been a huge inspiration for me when it comes to image design. When you view his images you will notice that each one of them are meticulously composed with careful attention to detail.

I have been fortunate enough to be able attend two of Tony’s online photography classes a couple of years ago: Image Design: Revealing Your Personal Vision and Fine Art Flower Photography which he still teaches over at and I can highly recommend both of these two courses. Tony’s teaching style is straight to the point, yet very caring and encouraging all while he shares a wealth of knowledge with his students.

I’m very grateful that Tony was kind enough to take the time for this interview in between conducting on location workshops, teaching online photography classes, writing magazine articles and running his general nature photography business! [MORE]

Wonder how they got that great silhouette on their camera… Check out this article for advice about creating effective silhouettes and add variety to your photo albums. Put some of these tips into practice and share some of your successes with the rest of us… Looking forward to seeing your work!

How To Photograph Silhouettes| 

As photographers we want to create images with impact and drama. Silhouettes are a great way to capture your viewer’s attention and convey mood, mystery and drama in your images.

A silhouette is a view of an object consisting of an outline and a featureless black interior. In photography the term is used to describe an image of a person, object or a scene that is backlit and appears dark against a lighter background. Partial or near-silhouettes can also be very powerful ways of conveying mood in your photographs.

The term silhouette dates back to the 18th century where portraits and other pictorial representations were cut from thin black card. The silhouette was named after the French finance minister Etienne de Silhouette (1709-1767) who was known for his severe economic demands on the French people and as it happen de Silhouette also practiced this relatively cheap art form himself. [MORE]