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Submitted on
September 23, 2010
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Why? by MikeShawPhotography Why? by MikeShawPhotography

Why?by MikeShawPhotography

Photography / People & Portraits / Emotive Portraits©2010-2014 MikeShawPhotography
I have been working on my web site when I sat looking at this image, it is such a personal piece to me I wondered if I could re-upload it, it was on here before on my old account, I was uneasy about putting it up then.

This was taken in Liverpool last year when I took my son to the Walker art gallery, on the way back to the station he saw all the poppy wreaths set out at the war memorial, he went across to look at what they were.

As he looked around he asked what both the poppies and the memorial meant so I tried to explain about war and why men set out to kill each other under orders, at each response he simply asked "why" to which I tried to give a valid reason.

It did not take long before I simply ran out of valid reasons for war yet he still had a valid "why".

It simply did not make sense to a eight year old child as to why we need need to kill another human being.

When I could not answer his questions any more I said it was time to go and got up and walked away. It was only when I was a few feet away I realised he was not with me, I turned to see him kneeling, I took the photograph and then stood and watched, he was slowly reading each of the inscriptions on the wreaths and did so for another 30 minutes or so.

I have never felt so ashamed or so proud to be a father.

Copyright of Mike Shaw 2010, please do not download, alter or use without first asking permission.

Thank you for any comments favs etc, its always appreciated :)
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nimitnigam Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2011  Professional Photographer
ohh man..i just luv this SHOT...:D
TheNamesLauren Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2011  Student Photographer
this is so, so beautiful <3
Batsceba Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2011   Photographer
MikeShawPhotography Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2011
Lothrian Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
That is an incredible picture, you should be very proud of it - and proud of your son, too. I used to try and explain to my stepsons when they were younger about the tragedy of war, particularly World War I. I am no pacifist, but the futility of WW1 defies all belief: in my eyes it was nothing but genocide; we think that three hundred men dying in Afghanistan over ten years is a lot, but on the first day of the Battle of The Somme in 1916 over 60,000 men fell - and yet the war went on... My great-grandfather fought on the Western Front, he survived a gas attack, but it ruined his health and far from being the athlete he had been before he spent the rest of his life debilitated by lung disease and was dead by the age of 50. I often think of him and his comrades in those trenches; I swallow hard at the thought that just two generations separate me from him, that ninety-five years ago I too would have been conscripted, forced to leave my family and endure maybe the most hellish conditions that any men have ever suffered. My ex-mother in law is one of those people who wears a white poppy, she used to say that red ones glorified war; me, I wear a red one to honour all those poor men who had so little choice over their fate.
MikeShawPhotography Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2011
Its a shame we value life so little, we use men as nothing more than cannon fodder at times :(
PJFriel Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
What a remarkable little man you have there. I'd say he takes after his papa. :)
MikeShawPhotography Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2010
Thank you Shy :hug:
PJFriel Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
Numede Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2010
Really, really, really amazing piece and description... I love it SO MUCH ! Hard to explain actually :aww: You just left me speechless. You're fantastic, you know that ?
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