Last week, Staff Photographer Jim Beckel covered a funeral for Charles Scott Jirtle. He contributes these thoughts about the event:
As a father, this image of a young girl clutching an American flag behind her father’s casket was one of the most difficult photographs I’ve ever taken. When I was younger, it was easier for me to remain detached from my subjects at this type of assignment. The passing years have brought not only wisdom, but the understanding that as a person, the emotions of my subjects often affect my emotions, and as a journalist my job is more complicated than simply observing and documenting. I still do the same job, but now I sometimes have to focus my lens through the tears.