Photographer races clock to honor last few World War I vets
"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."
I couldn't agree more. I think there has been far too little done to remember those from wars past. Every Veterans Day I hear so much in regards to those who served in Vietnam and WWII, but not much about WWI, the ending of which sparked the national holiday of Veterans Day to begin with.
Eight of 12 veterans he has photographed in the last two years are now dead.
"It's a tragic loss - a tragic loss for the project and for global history," he said. "These are the last breaths of the last souls who witnessed one of the most horrific wars this world has ever seen."
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