And many would say there are politics involved and ideologies....but not on this day, not with this family and friends...and not on the alter or on the street lined with people truly saddened stretched from the church to the cemetery, not on the hallowed ground where hundreds, possibly thousands joined together almost as family and mourned the loss of this soldier. Ultimately its a personal thing, a family thing, but watching today as people gathered together it was hard not to see something more than a family who lost their son, brother, grandson, cousin or dad.... or dad!(that gets me everytime)... but the loss is for all of us.
As a journalist I feel I need to look at the whole picture and find the story. As a photojournalist this means seeing the event as a single image that encapsulates the story or part of the story that brings us closer to the essence of what is in front of us. Capt. McClimans left behind a young son named Max. I watched this young man as he listened to a soldier present him with an American flag. His face looked as if he didn't really understand what was going on. Then the soldier ended his speech and paused for a second looking at Max's face and then held his fist up for a fist bump(its sort of a handshake, but it indicates you're cool, you're alright, your my friend) and Max understood this and his eyes lit up as he connected with this soldier. Capt. McClimans left behind a mother and father. It is said a parent should never bury their children. I watched these two in deep sorrow, and this is after more than two weeks since their son was killed. I don't know if they'll ever get over this loss, I suspect not, even long after they resume their daily lives, the loss will be continue to be immeasurable. And thats what I meant about grieving being a personal thing. We can converge on little Jamestown by the thousands to say goodbye and to cover the story of loss, but its the family who will have to live with this loss so deeply and without the possibility of forgetting. I guess when I think about this as I go about my work for the newspaper I get at least a little sense that our documenting history as best as we can--and believe me--I know how limited our ability is to get the story fully and with proper understanding--that we might be doing some good to help remember and hopefully create understanding. I feel it is our only hope to advance mankind. Meadville Tribune photographs by Richard Sayer. Click below to be re-directed to the Meadville Tribune for more photographs from today.