On a bright, sunny morning 13 years ago I took this photo of a ragged flag in a paint-peeled cabin in Cherry Creek, Nevada. I called it Patriot’s Dream as a bit of a wry comment on the state of our nation, which at that time had been embroiled in the Iraq War for a year and it was clear it was a mess with no quick or easy end in sight. In February 2006 the literary and art journal Words and Pictures published the photo along with a list of confirmed U.S. casualties in just the first 37 days of the year. The list contained 54 names, but a small time sampling of the carnage the fighting has produced.
Now, all these years later, we are still fighting in Iraq, and also in at least some capacity in Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia, Yemen, etc., etc., etc. And who knows, maybe soon in Korea.
In that context, on my recent trip to California I revisited Cherry Creek and the cabin in the Patriot’s Dream photo. This time it was on a dreary, rainy day. That same flag is still there. It’s hanging in there. Just barely.