Today, we took a photography seminar with Geneva-based lifestyle photographer, Oliver O'Hanlon. One of the assignments included street photography. I set up this shot intending to photograph the guy coming down the ramp. Just as I got ready to release the shutter, a woman walked into the frame coming up the ramp. It was sort of an Henri Cartier-Bresson moment.
This little fella showed up today on one of our balcony chairs. I grabbed the camera, snapped the macro lens on it, and started shooting. He was a pretty amenable model until he warmed up. After that, I couldn't get him to stand still. Also, I think it didn't help that I had a lens shoved in his proximity. I could tell, by the way he was moving about, that he was having none of it.
Today, Maya and I visited the American Military Cemetery and Memorial at Colleville-sur-Mer above Omaha Beach on France's Normandy Coast. It is here that American men and women who wore the uniforms of our military -- Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, and Air Corps -- and carried our flag, stormed the beaches and died as part of Operation Overlord / D-Day. Nearly 9,500 of them lie here. They died as part of the largest invasion launched to liberate France and Europe from the tyranny, oppression, and destruction of Nazi Germany.
Those who live in this area still exhibit deep respect and love for the Americans and all of their Allies who fought across 80 kilometers of beaches to advance freedom. At the entrance points on the roads leading into Colleville-sue-Mer are signs featuring a group photo of troops from the Army's 1st Infantry Division that very proudly declare, in French and English, "We thank our liberators." Along the coast in towns and villages stretching from Le Havre to Cherbourg are signs that say, "Thank you." Nearly 70 years after the events of that fateful and decisive day, generations of French remain appreciative and reverent with regards to the sacrifices that were made by young men and women who came from other countries to help free theirs.
It's that word reverent I want to talk about for a minute. As I walked into the cemetery, I was, and those around me were, assaulted by two American women in their 50s yelling to each other across the expanses where lay the bodies of our honored dead.
Yelling. In a cemetery. And not just any cemetery. This cemetery.
I tried politely shushing one of the women, but she chose merely to glare at me. I was appalled by her and her friend's lack of reverence. And these weren't the only ones who were irreverent that day. In striking contrast, the French and Germans who I encountered were speaking in hushed tones or not at all.
And this is as it should. Blood was shed here. Lives were cut short here. Great sacrifice ruled the day here. The least we can do, please, is show some reverence and respect.
HERE RESTS IN HONORED GLORY A COMRADE IN ARMS KNOWN BUT TO GOD.
Respect that. Whether here or elsewhere, respect that.
I don't know what you call people from Burano. Buranians? Anyway--just a few random photos of a couple folks who were going about their daily life while the rest of us were being tourists. The guy at the top was working on a balsa wood model boat. It was a rather impressive piece. He wasn't all that impressed with me taking his photo, though.
Holding court : Burano, IT
We stopped for ice cream and water at a little bar/restaurant that was next door to a bakery. This woman reminded me of my late maternal grandmother. She watched people coming and going and a few stopped to talk with her. Eventually, I popped into her shop and bought a bag of Venetian cookies.
Lacemaker : Burano, IT
Burano is known for its lacemaking. This was the last photo I took. As we were heading back to the ferry, I glanced inside an open door and saw this woman making lace. I snapped a quick picture, said "Grazie", and she waved me off dismissively! Sort of like the boat builder, I think she was unimpressed.
Not much to say here. Just a few photos of Burano and the reflections that can be enjoyed in the canals around this island village. To see a few more photos of Burano, visit my Picasa Web Album, Colorful Life.