The Three Servicemen Statue

Close-up view of the faces of the three servicemen.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Three Servicemen Statue, Washington, D.C.

Frederick Hart’s “The Three Servicemen” is part of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., which pays tribute to the more than 58,000 men and women who gave their lives in the war or remain missing. The larger-than-life bronze soldiers — they stand just over 8 feet tall — are a study in both strength and vulnerability as they solemnly gaze toward the Memorial Wall. There, the names of the 58,000 are inscribed on 140 separate black granite panels.

While a visit to the Memorial is always an emotional experience, taking the opportunity this visit to focus on Hart’s statue made it even more so. Perhaps it was because I was viewing the figures through the lens of my DSLR, taking my time to intently study the statue from various angles and distances. I zoomed in and out. I tweaked settings to my heart’s content. I lied on the ground and shot upward to give the soldiers an even more imposing presence. Having my camera enabled me to experience the Memorial in a way I never had before, challenging me to feel and capture the emotional power of “The Three Servicemen.” So, how do you think I did?

A view of the statue looking upward from ground level.

Three Servicemen Statue, Vietnam Veterans Memorial

9 thoughts on “The Three Servicemen Statue

  1. What a great tribute to the ex servicemen. A beautiful statue full of strength and vulnerability at the same time. Its amazing what we actually “see” when we look through the lens. I think its because we actually open our eyes to different angles and points of view etc that we take more time. Without the lens my eyes will look over something and not really observe properly or maybe get distracted by something else that they see. Lovely story Stacy πŸ™‚

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    • Wow, you are really digging back in time on my blog, Karen πŸ™‚ I look at this photo now, and while I know it would process it differently, I wouldn’t change a thing about the angles I chose to shoot from. Photographing this was actually part of a class I was taking to get my camera off automatic. The instructor encouraged us to look at the statue from all angles through the viewfinder. It was such an enlightening experience. I’ve found the more deeply I become involved with photography, the better able I am to “see” those details I never use to. Even so, there’s something so personal about framing a scene through a viewfinder. Just you and the camera. I love it. Thanks so much for your lovely comment!

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      • Your welcome, Its so true about framing, it is all in the eye of the beholder and as photographers we can be lucky that other people come along for the ride and ‘see’ things how we do. Funny how you look back through your photos and see the differences from then to now, that’s how we realise we are growing. Having said that I really like that photo as I see it now. Id be interested to see how you would process it differently? πŸ™‚

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        • Yup, I look back at my very first photo on the blog that I thought was so awesome and, well, it just isn’t … at all. I’d love to have the opportunity to go back and reshoot that – especially because it’s in France – here we go again πŸ˜‰ As for the Servicemen Statue, maybe I’ll do that for an After-Before Friday πŸ™‚

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        • That would be great re AB Friday, Id be interested to see what you have in mind. Re Travel, how I wish I could go back and take a lot of photos again with more experience and a better camera that I have now.. I look at them and think – could have been a good shot!!

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  2. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and pictures, Stacy. I love the thought that taking pictures gives “one” permission to examine the world from all perspectives.

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    • Thanks, Liz. I’m finding that the more I use my camera, the more my eyes search for wonderful photographic opportunities even when I don’t have it with me. A fantastic unanticipated benefit of my more-intentioned journey into the world of photography!

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