A tender photo taken in Cupertino’s Memorial Park of a toddler looking up at an inscription of the U.S. Soldier’s Creed is featured among the U.S. Army’s 2012 Photos of the Year and has a chance at being the photo of the year.
Kim Monack, the photographer and former Cupertino resident, says she has no idea what—if anything—she may win, but she wants to win.
At first she didn’t think it would be right if she won since many of the other photos in the running were taken by soldiers.
“I have a heart for soldiers, I need to let one of them win … I don’t want to take anything away from these soldiers in combat,” Monack says. “But then one of my sons said, ‘You’re an Army mom of three, you deserve it, too.’”
Now she wants it, and we can help her get that win.
To vote for Monack and our Memorial Park you need to be signed in to your Facebook or Twitter account and go to: http://www.army.mil/yearinphotos/2012/october.html.
Scroll down to Monack’s photo, which is the second one down—a black-and-white photo—and click “like” on the right-hand side under the photo and under where it says “Download Hi-Res.”
Do it before Jan. 31 when voting ends.
The little boy is Monack’s grandson, Eddy Monack, whose father, Franklin, is stationed at Fort Huachuca in Arizona.
Little Eddy, 1-1/2-years-old, and his mom, Trisha, were visiting and joined Kim while she dropped off another son and Army vet, Tommy, a student at De Anza College.
Tommy suggested they visit the memorial in the park, where Kim, an avid photographer, snapped this photo.
Kim Monack attended Garden Gate Elementary School for a few years then her family moved to Sunnyvale and then on to Boulder Creek where she resides now.
“I used to live in the cherry orchard behind Memorial Park, before the memorial was built,” Kim says. “It’s been years since I’ve been there. I have very fond memories of the park before the memorial, just playing there as a child.”
Walking in the park that beautiful day with her family and admiring the memorial there was meaningful to her, she says. She took several photos that day and when she was looking through them later at home, the one of Eddy looking at the inscription struck her.
“The innocence of a child looking at a statement that means so much to so many,” Monack says.
She decided to post the photo on her Facebook account. People started sharing it and it “started going kind of viral”. She sent it to the Army and it started appearing more and more in her Facebook news feed, not because she was posting it, but because others were sharing it.
Being part of an Army family she’s not surprised that she found out by chance that her photo had become part of the 2012 Photo of the Year, and she’s also not surprised that she has no idea what any of it means any way.
The Army’s kind of “vague” with some things, she says with a chuckle.
“People ask me (if I win) ‘What are you going to get?’ Probably nothing,” she says.
She doesn’t care. Getting people to acknowledge the sacrifice our troops make for us is award enough for her.