This is a photo of Megan Sanders, a chaplain at Seamen’s Church Institute in New York, standing near the American Merchant Mariners’ Memorial in Battery Park. A quick service was organized on April 10, 2009, to pray for the safety of Capt. Richard Phillips, who had been taken hostage by Somali pirates off of the Horn of Africa.
If necessarily a bit heavy-handed (pun intended), it’s a fabulously confident photo (especially for a day assignment). Chris’ image is brilliant for the way it moves silently, softly, respectfully past the ritual, past the bible, the collar and the ever-present hands of the clergy. Simply, the picture soars in the way it finds grace in spite of the religiosity, capturing the soul of the seafaring force, and America, in earthly bonds — the way the statue expresses it.
The photo — in a completely modern way — is worthy of Walt Whitman.
(Chris Hondros, one of America’s finest photojournalists and a BagNews contributor, died this past week on assignment in Libya.)