One picture can be worth a thousand words. Others can leave you quite speechless.
To experience the power of such pictures, go to the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, which is hosting a traveling exhibit called “Capture the Moment: The Pulitzer Prize Photographs.” And go there soon, because this amazing collection is on view only through Dec. 31.
My husband and I saw the exhibit last week on a shared day off (a more than momentary joy). Even as I type this, images from the show resurface in my mind, unforgettable.
Within the gallery walls, photos depict the best of times and the worst of times (thanks, Mr. Dickens). Birth, death; peace, war; celebration, grief: all captured by the magic of the lens — and the vision of the human behind the camera.
The exhibit brought me to tears more than once. The contrast of joy and sorrow hits again and again. One minute you see the miraculous moment of birth, a wide, elated smile on the mother’s face. A few walls later you see a haunting portrait of another mother and child, this infant just hours from death in famine-ravaged Ethiopia.
Dramatic moments in history — the attack on the World Trade Center, the shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald — are juxtaposed with more personal dramas — the rescue of a young girl caught in roaring flood waters, a Vietnam veteran watching an Armed Forces Day parade from a wheelchair, holding a toddler in his lap.
This world is a terrible, wonderful place. We all bear witness every day.
I give thanks for those who frame and preserve those moments, to remind us all.
—The National Constitution Center is at 525 Arch St., on Independence Mall. For more information, visit the website: http://constitutioncenter.org.