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An enterprising and award-winning photojournalist in Orange County and beyond. Leopo, as Voice of OC’s Director of Photography, has captured a wide array of photographs visually documenting the news and soul of Orange County local government and community. Her work has also appeared in Vice, KCET, Ed Source, The California Endowment and OC Weekly.
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To commemorate the women and men that made the ultimate sacrifice for our country, we have the yearly tradition of the US Federal holiday, Memorial Day. In Orange County, it is a three day weekend filled with Memorial Day ceremonies and beach gatherings under the California sun.
The tradition that began shortly after the Civil War, is observed every last Monday of May. During these uncertain times many memorials are being celebrated differently. Many memorials held virtual ceremonies and held off on large gatherings.
On May 23, Voice of OC went to Irvine’s Candle lighting event held at Northwood Gratitude and Honor Memorial. Northwood Memorial was established in 2003 to remember the fallen troops who passed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
During these unprecedented times where social distancing is encouraged, the outdoor design of the Northwood memorial made it easy for the public to walk up and pay their respects. A Irvine city employee was present and helped the public light candles and assist with, name rubbing, an activity that is very common throughout memorials. You place a piece of paper over the name you wish to copy and carefully draw over a name to leave the imprint on your paper.
During my visit, the stillness and silence of the memorial intrigued the curiosity of children passing by. Many of the young children, for the first name, rubbed the name of a fallen soldier onto a paper or lit a candle in remembrance of a fallen hero. Here is a glimpse of the memorial on a sunny evening.