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Tamara Mann
4,407 followers -
travel+conflict+photo
travel+conflict+photo

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-- VII Photo Agency's BEST OF 2011: HIGHLIGHTS OF A YEAR IN PICTURES
VII photographers present their best images, shot or released in 2011. --

Creme de la creme, indeed.

[url] http://www.viiphoto.com/contentNewsletter/Bestof2011/

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I read the news today, oh boy.
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The one and only +Alfred Perlstein, stylin' hard on his way home from Laguna Seca/MotoGP. Cupertino, California, July 2011.
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Afghanistan - inside the wire, looking out. Details, details. [+6 new]

#afghanistan #mil #kabul
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Afghanistan (22 photos)
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Afghanistan
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Hello again, Iraq. 8 new images from FOB Feylok-Normandy near Muqdadiya, Diyala Province, 2008. [+8 new]

#iraq #mil #oif
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Iraq (40 photos)
40 Photos - View album

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Iraq
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Iraq
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+Kevin O'Mara nails it. Additional comments, solely my own: To coin a phrase: Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. Ok, George Santayana actually coined that particular phrase, and it's a pretty great one.

For what it's worth, this was originally Armistice day, and has been expanded in recent years in Canada and many other countries to include civilian casualties (dead and still alive) of both belligerents, as they're termed, as well.

A big part of working towards a world where war isn't a daily reality is making sure that people understand the sacrifices and horror of it. My personal opinion is that this by definition has to include compassion -- for all participants, voluntary and involuntary.

There's nothing compassionate -- and everything divisive -- in disdain.
It's possible to get your mind around the death of a single person. It begins to get difficult when the numbers go higher - we can mourn for five killed in a car accident. A few thousand erased from this planet in an industrial accident? At some point it's hard to process that each number represents a single person.

Somewhere around twenty million people died during World War I. Twenty million. That number doesn't even make sense to me. I literally can not envision that many people. More people than I've ever seen in my life were killed in such a short span of time.

On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of the year 1918 the Allied forces signed an armistice with Germany, effectively ending World War I. We're just seven years short of an entire century having passed since then. In many countries the event became known as Armistice Day and yearly remembrances included a minute of silence at 11AM to commemorate those who fell during combat, both civilian and military alike.

After World War II the United States chose to rename the holiday to Veterans Day as sort of a catch-all to honor all members of our armed forces.

There's a lot I want to write here about how war is hell, and to question how we humans ever reached a place where we thought it necessary to end up killing twenty million of our own kind, but I ... can't figure out how to say it. I just keep getting stuck on that number.

Twenty million. One war.

Somehow we went and tripled that number with World War II just a few short years later. It's a sobering thought that even with a yearly remembrance of those dead we could send other humans back to do the same thing all over again.

I guess that's what I want to say. Honor our veterans today, but also keep in mind why we're marking this day at all.

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[I was introduced to Mr Murphy's work a few years ago in India, then promptly lost where I'd written his name down. Absolutely thrilled that this was released today. Go take a look - this is absolutely quality, lyrical work.]

Based on 14 trips to Afghanistan between 1994 and 2010, A Darkness Visible: Afghanistan is the work of photojournalist Seamus Murphy. His work chronicles a people caught time-and-again in political turmoil, struggling to find their way.
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