On March 26th at 1:15p.m I could be found in the home of Tom Markos Jr. shooting the next installment of 15 Faces. Number Twelve to be exact!. Tom is the grandfather of my good friend Matt Schnell (http://www.schnelldesigns.com/). Mr. Markos has been weathered by the years and the battles fought in Europe during World War 2. Tom was a bombardier in the United States Army Air Forces Eighth Air Force, stationed in Bury St. Edmunds in Suffolk, England.
I asked a several questions of this quick witted man. One such question was what moved him to serve in the Armed Forces. He said, “It was your duty, it was expected as a part of a sense of patriotism.” He added that patriotism was only a part of the reason. An equally important reason for serving was the people (specifically the children) that were regularly seen near the airbase. The people’s lives were impacted by Hitler and the German army, and that created in Tom enough reason to muster the courage to be up in a bomber. Tom added that he and his crew eventually became the lead plane/bomber with all other planes following their lead. This also meant that he could be the first to get shot. As he spoke, I saw an occasional tear form. When asked what the tear held, he said he is a relatively emotional guy. I wondered if the tear held memories of fallen comrades, the weight of changing the tide in war, or maybe just too many emotions to even put into words. So many times, we condemn war, even the people who serve in it because it does not fit who “we” are or what we believe. I want to ask each of us to just sit quietly in the presence of someone who served. There is much to glean from their lives and the freedoms we have. Their perspective is one refined by the trying times forged in tense times of war.
I want to thank Matt Schnell for assembling the photos into the great piece of art above. It brings great honor to a man who faithfully served our country.
Best wishes for your day!