“My father, this anonymous hero”

“My father, this anonymous hero”

Little by little, the professional photographer became known for a series of portraits of veterans of all nationalities, entitled “Anonymous Heroes”: “I would spot them during commemoration ceremonies and they would choose where and how they wanted to be photographed Some also asked that it be near the graves of their comrades, others preferred that the session take place on the beach of the battlefield, or even near a memorial monument.

If Ian Patrick finds it inevitable that memory tourism will evolve with the disappearance of veterans, he remembers that his father found it “very strange” to meet young people near the D-Day beaches dressed in uniforms from the era. “He was also angry about the historical errors in Spielberg's film “Saving Private Ryan” and did not see why people were asking him for autographs: according to him, he had done nothing heroic but only his duty. ” But, he adds, “This attitude is somewhat normal: people want to touch history up close.”

Ian's work, carried out between 1984 and 2008, gave rise to several exhibitions and a bilingual book:

– “Anonymus Heros”, permanent exhibition at the Overlord Museum in Omaha Beach of 70 portraits of veterans.

-Forty photos are also exhibited at the Hôtel des Invalides in Paris until August 26, 2024.

-Book: “DDay portraits”, ed. By the Ways, €29.50

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