Agam's Gecko
Monday, December 26, 2005

he freelance journalist Michael Yon, who has been doing some absolutely fantastic reporting from Iraq this year, writes that he was sent a video last week:
I am working on a dispatch about the incredible Iraqi elections on 15th December. Meanwhile, the following video was sent to me by a caring citizen who closely follows the events in Iraq. The video was not attributed, and I saw no information regarding the authorship to ask permission to run it. Apparently the author sent it out to be distributed by the winds, and so please turn up the volume and click here.
Your humble Bangkok-based correspondent was feeling inexplicably wind-like yesterday after viewing this fine piece of work at JasonColeman.com (he has embedded the video directly on his page). I've found a free file-hosting server for it, and made a little slide show of some of the scenes which will stay on top of our side-bar for the next while. The video is three and a half minutes, weighs about 6.6 Mb, has a great soundtrack, and if it doesn't move you, something might be wrong.
[Watch this movie in Windows Media Player, or any other that handles wmv files. Get a direct link to this file from either Michael's or Jason's page linked above...UPDATE: The File Factory upload which I had linked here, has now expired. View the movie at the above linked 2 pages (note Jason's download link is incorrect - it should be "15Dec05Election.wmv" for the filename instead of "15Dec05Elections.wmv"). Also see Pamela at Atlas Shrugs, who also hosts the video at Play it Again Sam. Links from the slideshow at the top of the sidebar have also been fixed.]
Stretch the window big, pump up the volume, sit back, and have a handkerchief ready. It's all about them.

You might also pay a visit to Time Magazine's Viewers' Choice Awards, and support Michael Yon as the only non-professional photographer whose work is among the finalists. His "In His Arms" is one of the most memorable images of the past year. And by the way, the dispatch he mentions in my quoting above is now up on his site: "Three Times the Charm."

UPDATE - Sept. 10, 2006

The author of the video has contacted me, and writes the following:
I was currently deployed to Iraq when the December Elections came around. Being apart of 55h Combat Camera in the Army, we were tasked to go out to the polling sites and capture the day. I was asked to stay back with the Joint Combat Camera Imagery Management Team, so that we can process the imagery and expedite the information out of Iraq. I was also tasked with making a video for the commanding general (Brigidier General Vangiel at the time). As imagery was coming in all day, I was able to come up with a final product after sitting in front of my laptop for 18 hours. Little was I aware that 24 hours later the video was being presented to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. I am very proud and honored to have been a part of such a great event in Iraq history, and to have been able to spread the news worldwide and touch so many hearts.

55th Combat Camera Company
Ft. Meade, MD
Email - ronald.wrightjr@us.army.mil
The credits on the video will now read:

All imagery is taken by joint Combat Camera units (Army, Air Force, and Marines).
The video was edited by SPC Ronald Wright, 55th Combat Camera Company.
The music is Aaron Copelands "Fanfare for the Common Man" played by the Marine band.

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