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Photographer races clock to honor last few World War I vets - PPA Today

Photographer races clock to honor last few World War I vets


(CNN) -- Photographer David DeJonge plans to capture a vanishing bit of history Tuesday on a trip to Arlington National Cemetery near Washington.

There he hopes to photograph 107-year-old Frank Buckles -- one of the few men still alive who fought in World War I. Buckles will lay a wreath at the grave of Gen. John J. "Black Jack" Pershing, who led U.S. forces in Europe in World War I.

The visit comes 90 years to the day after the end of World War I, an occasion that led to Veteran's Day in the United States and Armistice Day in other nations.

For DeJonge, it's a poignant reminder that time is running out in his quest to find and photograph the few surviving veterans of the war, which raged from 1914 to 1918.

"In my view, America has missed the boat in documenting this part of history," said DeJonge, a portrait photographer from Zeeland, Michigan. "It was such a pivotal moment in global history."

He has raced the clock for the last two years to photograph the dwindling number of surviving World War I veterans, a mission he embraces with a keen appreciation for the ticking clock: Eight of 12 veterans he has photographed in the last two years are now dead.

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This page contains a single entry by Professional Photographers of America (PPA) published on November 11, 2008 3:03 PM.

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