War Photography Research

1,215 American soldiers, airmen, marines and seamen prayed before the pledge of enlistment on July 4, 2008 at a massive re-enlistment ceremony in Al Faw palace in Baghdad, Iraq Ashley Gillbertson, Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot

I find this image really emotive as it clearly shows the epic scale of war. These lines of soldiers could keep going for miles for all we know, and there is a good chance many of them won’t be coming home. From the description we know these are soldiers are re-enlisting to go back to the war zone. This really puts their bravery and dedication in perspective. They survived war once and they are willing to put themselves through it again, knowing full well they many not come out alive. The lines of soldiers remind me of the lines on the American flag, these are American soldiers and it gives the image a patriotic feel. The fact they are praying makes me think that they feel they need something more than their knowledge and skills as soldiers to keep them safe. To me as a atheist, it has a feel of desperation to it.

Joao Silva
Siege of Baghdad’s Sadr city, 2008

This image for me really shows what I feel is the chaos of war. I feel this image shows my purely media influenced perception of war perfectly. The smoke blocking the background adds a sense of danger; you know from the description that there is sniper fire, but you don’t know what else is out there. It enhances the fear, as there is a pretty good chance the soldiers don’t know what is out there either, and they are actually living the situation. The image shows a reality of uncertainty and danger, which I feel is shown in the media mainly by dead bodies, rather than the situations that lead to these bodies. This image feels refreshing and truthful in this sense, despite its tough content.

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