By Eric Kruszewski
Bio: Eric Kruszewski is a photographer and videographer with National Geographic Creative who has traveled the world creating compelling editorial-style visual content for top organizations and media outlets. He is based in Washington, D.C. and has been recognized with awards from Travel Photographer of the Year and National Geographic.
On a random weekend several years ago, I wandered along The National Mall in Washington, D.C. to photograph its picturesque monuments. As I approached the World War II Memorial, I encountered and captured images of a dozen people dressed in period costume. They were WWII re-enactors and volunteers helping Honor Flight – an organization created to honor America’s veterans for their sacrifices and bring the veterans to D.C. to experience the memorials.
Years passed and one day I was going through my archive and saw those WWII images. Curious about the people’s stories, I reached out to the Honor Flight chairman and proposed partnering with a local magazine to do a photographic essay on the volunteers who make the veterans’ visit such a special experience. Excited to bring more awareness to the veterans and their service, the chairman invited me to be part of their activities. I captured the following images (link).
Tip: Meeting people and being able to tell their stories through photography are amazing opportunities. Always remain curious and open to new encounters. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. People’s answers might offer wonderful experiences. The worst they can say is “No.”
Veterans Day is an official United States public holiday that annually falls on November 11. This day is the anniversary of the signing of the armistice, which ended World War I. On Veterans day we honor military veterans; that is, persons who served in the United States Armed Forces and thank them for their services.