I’ve covered many stories centered around the two national holidays that honor the men and women who serve our country in war and peace.

This story was first written in 2000 while covering Veteran’s Day ceremonies in Washington. It seems appropriate for Memorial Day eight years later:

Veterans Day on the National Mall in Washington and I was shooting an assignment at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

The shiny black surface of the memorial is highly reflective and I captured many photos of visitors as they paid tribute to those who fell in the war.

Then I noticed a young girl searching the wall for a name. She moved methodically from panel to panel, running her fingers along the names.

Then she stopped and stared at one name. She stood silently for a while, then reached into her pocket, pulled out a flower and pressed it to the wall just above the name.

I raised my camera and fired one shot. It was all I needed.