The Rest of the Story

My time in the Palouse has come to an end. I am writing this in the Seattle airport awaiting my overnight flight to Atlanta and then my morning flight to Knoxville. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll get some sleep on my flight home after an exhilarating time in the Colfax area. Between the landscape, the people in the photography workshop, and the people in the Colfax area who I had the pleasure to meet, I don’t know where to begin describing what an awesome experience I had. I am looking forward to processing some images soon and sharing them with you.

But before I do that, I want to share an image from this morning before leaving Colfax. Just before I left, I had the great pleasure of personally meeting Sgt. Ben Miller. Sgt Miller is the soldier in the recent experience I wrote about in the Colfax Cemetery on Memorial Day. If my witness to Sgt. Miller’s ritual on Memorial Day was memorable, the opportunity for us to meet was even more rewarding.

We met near my hotel in Colfax. We shook hands. Tears welled in our eyes. We embraced each other. Tears welled in our eyes some more. We shared our thoughts about our chance meeting in the cemetery. Even though we had never spoken to each other, it was like we were old friends. Our experience in the cemetery, had connected us in a way that I can’t describe and I don’t think Sgt. Miller can either. Neither of us will ever know how we were placed in the same place at the same time, but both of us were changed by it.

I learned many wonderful things Sgt. Miller during our brief meeting this morning. One I’ll share here: he has been privately conducting his Memorial Day ritual for ten years. Ten years. What an amazing story!

In case you missed his account of that morning in my previous post, please go back and read it. He wrote a powerful account. It will move you. It will change you just like it did me. Thank him for his courage to serve. Thank him for his courage to share.

Thanks, Sgt. Miller!



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