While in Tennessee during the Christmas holidays, my dad and I walked through an old cemetery down the road from my Great-Grandmother’s house in Jonesborough. I have a fascination with graveyards and cemeteries and find them very cool to photograph.
Most of the graves in this cemetery were from the late 1800s to early 1900s. During our exploration of the cemetery, my dad found an old American flag, balled up and buried under leaves near a tombstone in the very back corner. The grave belonged to John Preston Hilton, a Corporal in the 50th Infantry during World War I.
We unfurled the torn and tattered flag and placed it on his tombstone, thanking him for his service to our country. This created a really cool moment and the photograph that you see here. While I don’t know this gentleman, I felt a certain connection when proudly and properly displaying his flag on his grave on that chilly, Christmas day.
I feel photography is a way to capture and immortalize a moment. And simply by taking this photo, John Preston Hilton is introduced to an audience he otherwise would not have been exposed to. And despite being dead for almost a century, he is still able to create art.