Regular visitors to the Time Magazine website are probably familiar with a feature called "Photo of the Week," where readers vote to select the most compelling photographs from the news that week.
The photo of Major Beiger cradling the Iraqi girl, Farah, was the people's choice the first week of May, 2005. Time Magazine titled it In his Arms and used this caption:
"A US Soldier comforts a child fatally wounded in a car bomb blast in Mosul, 225 miles northwest of Baghdad."
At the end of the year, the ten photographs that polled the highest numbers during the year are selected as finalists and readers and visitors are given the opportunity to determine their choice for photo for the year. It was a tremendous honor to learn that this photograph was among those images most often selected by people; especially when I saw all the other photos, which are all amazing images. As the only amateur photographer to have his work included in this grouping, I am truly honored, but I am also aware that the power of the image I captured is what people respond to.
It was an instant of clarity in a blur of chaos that, for many of us, frames and defines the nature of this war. Any US soldier who has ever served in combat can probably give countless examples of moments like this. I just happened to be on the scene that day when a terrorist who had been trailing a Deuce Four patrol in a car packed with explosives waited until a crowd of children had gathered around the soldiers and selected that moment to drive into the crowd and detonate. Although little remained of him to be shown in this frame, the image somehow still reveals the true nature of our enemy in this war.
The link below is to a slide show featuring all ten qualifying photographs, each of which was a top vote getting photograph for the week it first ran. The slide show concludes on a page that shows all the thumbnails above check boxes that record votes. Current statistics are revealed once the "vote" button is clicked and the selection recorded by the website.
Participate in the voting