by Scott Serio
As hundreds of journalists, photographers, videographers and writers alike prepare to converge on Louisville, Kentucky for the 137th Kentucky Derby, recent events half way around the world serve to remind us that, sometimes, in the grand scheme of things, whether or not Jaycito runs is just a triviality.
News broke early yesterday that photojournalists Chris Hondros and Tim Hetherington had been killed while covering the action in Misurata, Libya. The latter will be known by some as the co-director of the gripping documentary “Restrepo”. Hondros was little known outside of the journalism community, but to those in the community his work and his character were highly respected.
Take a look at a few of his most amazing images. I say this now, they are screen grabs, they are his work and if Getty or someone wants compensation for them, I will gladly pay.
This posting is a small tribute and a reminder there are many more important things in the world than horse racing. People like Hondros and Hetherington risk their lives to bring light to the struggles of those less fortunate than we are. Hondros spent his professional career photographing conflicts all over the world. He was witness to things many of us do not even want to imagine.
As some know, in real life I am a police officer. I know the dangers of working in one of the more violent cities in the country. I am also a photojournalist. Having seen both ends of this, I have the utmost respect for Hondros and Hetherington. When things go bad, even when I am being what some might consider heroic, I’m not. I have a gun, but if worse comes to worst, I can call for backup. When it is really bad, I have SWAT.
What Hondros and Hetherington did, they waded into situation 1000x worse, without a gun and keep their lenses up and on the conflict. While risking their lives, and ultimately giving their lives, they delivered on a personal promise to be a voice for those who otherwise would not be heard.
So as you load up your suitcase, decide on your Derby hat and figure out what wagers you are about to make in Louisville, take a moment to think about Chris Hondros and Tim Hetherington. Think about their sacrifice. Think about the sacrifices of the men and women whose stories they told.
Here are some links to see more images and learn more about Hondros and Hetherington: