With this third 2012 post, I would like to honor and pay tribute to our military men and women by recalling two Corinth, Mississippi freelance photographer’s labor of love. The events of Veteran’s Day 2011 are long an historical fact now, and another year is before us. However, the effects from this month-long photography exhibit can still be felt in the Corinth area.
Excluded from this post will be the individual images, only a few snapshots of the entire “Salute to Veterans” display as captured at the Corinth Public Library. The moving images portrayed dignity, sacrifice, service to country and mankind as seen through the photographic eyes of two friends, Bill Avery and Lisa Wilbanks. Their photographic tribute to a few of our nation’s military keepers was featured in the article below. All credit given to staff writer, Bobby J. Smith.
In addition, I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge and include a thank you to Jimmy and Connie Reed from Reed’s Printing. Their expertise was also displayed in the quality printing of this exhibit. The Corinth Public Library continues to offer its facility to artists throughout the community, and a hearty thank you must be expressed to the library staff and area director as well.
Photographers Pay Tribute to Alcorn, Mississippi Vets by Bobby J. Smith
Beginning on Veterans Day, “A Salute to Veterans” will feature almost 200 photos of Alcorn County’s men and women who answered America’s call and served in the armed forces.
Local photographers Bill Avery and Lisa Wilbanks undertook the project following the success of their recent “Faces and Places of Alcorn County” and “Me and My Mom” exhibits at the Corinth Library.
For the two photographers—who spent countless hours shooting photos and assembling the displays—the work was a labor of love and an eye-opening experience.
“In my mind it refreshed the sacrifice and the different adversities these men and women went through,” said Avery. “Talking and taking the pictures was a reminder to me of the sacrifices—what these people gave up—to serve our country.”
Wilbanks said she learned a great deal she didn’t know about military history from talking to the veterans.
“It was interesting to meet these people and hear their different stories,” said Wilbanks, who talked to the subjects of her photographs about their time in the military and afterward, their hobbies and what brought them to the area. “One fellow would tell me only his name and services dates, and another fellow would tell me everything that happened from the time he went in until the time he got out!”
“They were very appreciative of it. We’re the ones that need to be thanking them for their service and being away from their families, but most of them were very appreciative of us for doing it,” said Wilbanks.
Avery said one of the best parts of the experience was when they were shooting at the Mississippi Care Center and seeing the looks of pride on the veterans’ faces when they saw the flags and other military paraphernalia in the photo setting.
“When they were in the room where we were shooting, they could tell they were being honored,” Avery recalled.
The photos will be displayed on 14 black felt covered 4 foot by 8 foot panels. Intermingled with the panels are flags, boots and military stand-up displays which were donated by the Army, Navy, and Air Force recruiting centers in Corinth. The panels will be hung and stood on the stage in the American Legion building.
The American flag is featured somewhere in each of the pictures.
The photo display will begin Friday at American Legion Post Number Six on Tate Street—immediately following the Veterans Day parade which is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. in downtown Corinth. The exhibit will continue Saturday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. and then move to the Corinth Library until the end of November.
Are you a photographer? Do you belong to a camera club? May I recommend such a project in your area, if you are. If snapping photographs isn’t your thing, then please support such community projects by visiting the exhibit, signing the register, and leaving a comment. You might just make someone’s day.
Also, I would highly recommend viewing the entire gallery of images at the following website: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mississippiphotogurl18/sets/72157628707447347/
Thank you for dropping by.