Baltimore Night Out Against Crime.

"A boy named Azor poses for a portrait during a 'National Night Out Against Crime' event in Baltimore, Maryland Tuesday, August 2, 2011."

I’ve had a lot on my mind over the past few days. It’s been one of those weeks where I’ve found myself lying awake at night replaying scenarios over and over again in my mind and thinking about far too many things. 

What I love about journalism, or in my case, photojournalism, is that it takes you away from yourself and allows for a look into the lives of others, even if it does so only momentarily. 

That’s what I felt yesterday evening as I shot a community picnic for Baltimore’s International Rescue Committee office. I found myself amidst over 40 asylees and refugees – now Baltimore residents – from Ethiopia, Eritrea, Bhutan, the Republic of the Congo, Iraq and other countries as they interacted, danced, and ate with others from Baltimore.

I had lots of fun shooting, and, as it has done so many times before, it took my mind away from my own world for a bit. This little guy took a liking to me and my camera, and this photograph makes me happy. 

Circle Of The Immortals.

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Between Memorial Day 2009 and Memorial Day 2010, ten soldiers with substantial ties to Maryland were killed while serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

Yesterday, they were honored at Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens in Timonium, Maryland.

I’m satisfied with this video that I shot and edited. There are a few parts of the ceremony I wish I had shot differently and I think I could have edited some of the transitions more smoothly.

24 hours after, however, I find myself reflecting on the day itself rather than on my own work.

This ceremony was a lot to take in, yet several details have occupied my thoughts.

First is Mr. Donald Bohle. His 29-year old son, Sergeant 1st Class Bradley S. Bohle, was killed in Afghanistan just last September, yet the pride and composure with which he spoke and carried himself throughout the day was inspiring.

Secondly, soldiers, families of the deceased, spectators, media, young children, and war veterans were all in attendance. It’s not often that one finds such a diverse crowd gathered in the same place. Yet despite this rare mix of people, there was a profound sense of togetherness that filled the garden’s Circle of the Immortals.

We’re extremely lucky to have the freedom to express our thoughts and ideas. I was reminded yesterday that it’s because of these brave men and women who serve our country that we are able to do so.

As a student and a journalist, I’m grateful for their defense of freedom and humbled by their sacrifices.