Friday, July 9, 2010

Proud to Be an American...

This past Monday, I attended the Carmel, Indiana Independence Day Parade.  The weather was scorching hot, but the streets were lined with people who braved the blazing sun and heat for the festivities.  As in years past, various colorful marching bands, civic groups, and merchants marched with pride down the main streets of Carmel. 
Traditionally, as this year, the final entries marching by were members of our armed forces.  A recording of Lee Greenwood singing "Proud to Be An American" accompanied the marching troops and floats.  The spectators stood and cheered for our heroes with flags waving. The emotion of the moment brought tears to my eyes and gave me goosebumps, in spite of the heat.  
As the various floats passed by, one of the soldiers made direct eye contact with me.  I raised my camera and was given a direct, heartfelt, proud and genuine salute. 
The citizens of Carmel were cheering to thank and honor our troops, yet this young man returned the favor, speaking volumes of appreciative gratitude through his gesture and smile. I have chosen to share this image with you this week since it summed up the feelings of Independence Day, patriotism and American Freedom.

(Canon EOS 5D MarkII, Canon EF 24-105mm f 4.0L IS USM, 1/500 sec @ f 8.0, ISO 200)

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