Comraderie

2012_99_12

Unidentified Photographer, [Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin looking out window of USS Hornet], July 24, 1969 (2012.99.12)

johnson_krisanne_2013_59_2

Krisanne Johnson, A young HIV-positive woman who works in the garment industry laughs with friends at her rented one-room home, Matsapha, Swaziland, February 2012 (2013.59.2)

leroy_catherine_2011_73_1Catherine Leroy, A Marine is hit by North Vietnamese fire during Battle of Hue, February 1, 1968 (2011.73.1)

lyon_danny_2010_3_20Danny Lyon, Renegade’s funeral, Detroit, 1966 (2010.3.20)

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Yoshito Matsushige, [Dazed survivors huddle together in the street ten minutes after the atomic bomb was dropped on their city, Hiroshima], August 6, 1945 (1464.2005)

We often seem to place great importance on individuals. There are people remembered long after they have faded from this earth because of some act of heroism or ingenuity. It could be claimed, however, that there are no men who truly operate alone, that no successes or discoveries are the result of one person. These remarkable individuals are able to be so because their work, their bravery is achieved in part by standing on the shoulders of giants, on the accomplishments of those before and around them. There is a multitude of persons, the quiet participant, the off-stage support, and the forgotten chorus that rose to the occasion.

As Aristotle said in Politics, “Man is by nature a social animal; an individual who is unsocial naturally and not accidentally is either beneath our notice or more than human. Society is something that precedes the individual. Anyone who either cannot lead the common life or is so self-sufficient as not to need to, and therefore does not partake of society, is either a beast or a god. ” When we, these social creatures, are put into situations of particular stress, excitement or intensity, a great sense of camaraderie can develop. Whether it is on an expedition to the Poles, in a laboratory, on the battlefront, or in a community besieged by difficulties, camaraderie is the enhancement of bonds that give us strength, sometimes in quantities so great it is astounding.

Kathy Akey, ICP-Bard 2014

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