Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2001/01/29

[Author Prev] [Author Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Author Index] [Topic Index] [Home] [Search]

Subject: [Leica] RE: Arlington National Cemetery "issues"
From: "Zeissler, Mitch" <>
Date: Mon, 29 Jan 2001 13:52:05 -0500

Arlington National Cemetery [ANC] is known locally for their aggressive
military personnel [and it *is* a military facility].  A photo buddy and I
found out first hand just how aggressive they can be.

We had been taking lunch time walks from our nearby office to ANC for some 9
months.  Each day, we would take our photo kits [Canon for him, Leica for
me] with us and burn some film inside ANC, being careful to follow the
posted rules and avoid shooting any processions or funerals that are taking
place.  In late September of 1999, we walked over to ANC, went over a short
stone wall like we had for the previous 9 months [there were steps leading
to it and an established trail on both sides], and began walking through the
headstones like we always did.

In seconds, we had an enraged [and armed] MP literally screaming for us to
halt and calling for additional backup.  It was very eerie hearing the
vehicle sirens winding through ANC, knowing they were headed for us while we
were roughly escorted to the guard building.  5 cars and 10 MPs later, we
were given a severe tongue lashing about how ANC is an active military
facility, how we shouldn't ever take the path we had been using, how we were
lucky they didn't throw us in the military brig right now, how they should
really confiscate our film *and* cameras, etc.  This went on and on for
about 30 minutes.

They finally let us go [in a hurry] when they discovered we both worked for
Gannett, the parent company of USA TODAY.  However, neither of us has ever
used the path we used to take and we make sure we follow pavement or paved

/Mitch Zeissler

- -----Original Message-----
Date: Sat, 27 Jan 2001 20:20:06 -0500
From: Simon Stevens <>
Subject: Re: [Leica] funerals ! :-(

I did this last year at Arlington National Cemetery. It was an interesting
experience and a great justification for shooting an M (for their
quietness). Even though it was the widow who hired me I still felt very self
conscious and tried to keep my distance while still getting the shots they
wanted. Other than this, the only real challenge was the government funeral
director who apparently thought he was Secret Service (he wore shades,
screeched around in a car with lights and generally behaved like a
self-important jerk) Despite my best efforts at being discreet, he started
yelling at me during the ceremony even though the family had told them they
had hired me. I really wanted to say something, but obviously that wasn't
the time, and any complaint really had to come from the family, not me. But
as a veteran myself, and also as a photographer trying to do a job for a
bereaved family, it did burn me up.

Simon Stevens