May 25 marks the unofficial beginning of summer as Americans celebrate the holiday with parades and barbecues in the warm weather. But it is also Memorial Day, held in honor of those who gave their lives in service of the country.
Among the various tributes to America's fallen troops this year is the annual #GoSilent campaign, which encourages people to observe a moment of silence for fallen soldiers at 12:01 p.m. on Memorial Day. The campaign, now in its fourth year, was launched by Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA). It encourages Americans to dedicate their moments of silence to the memory of a deceased service member and share it on social media.
Also going viral on social media this Memorial Day is a photo from 2011 of a bald eagle watching over the Fort Snelling National Cemetery. The image of the eagle perching gracefully on a tombstone was taken by amateur photographer Frank Glick en route to work one foggy spring morning some four years ago.
According to Star Tribune, Glick later reached out to the family connected to the gravestone and met the widow of Maurice Ruch, who was delighted at the photo. Since then, Glick reported has received numerous requests to use the photo and its accompanying story, including from the Department of Veterans Affairs, military publications and Arlington National Cemetery.
Even as the Obama administration claims that the war in Afghanistan has ended or is ending, this Memorial Day, nearly 10,000 U.S. troops remain in Afghanistan, following the White House's delay in withdrawing its soldiers from the country.
The photo of the eagle might have been taken years ago, but it still resonates today as the fates of many U.S. soldiers — as well as residents in foreign conflict areas affected by American involvement — remain uncertain.
Cover image via iStock / lawcain.