SPIRIT OF ALABAMA: A WITNESS TO HISTORY

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Some of the most historic moments in World War II can now be found in images spread across a dining room table in Tuscaloosa. The man behind the camera for some of those moments is Tuscaloosa native Ray Farabee. Drafted into World War II, Mr. Farabee served in the U.S. Army’s 32nd Infantry Red Arrow Division. But instead of a rifle, he carried a camera and captured some of the war’s most important moments.

He grew up working at Tuscaloosa’s Olan Mills Photography. Once the military learned of his experience with a camera, they gave him one, and assigned as an official U.S. Army Photographer.

“The pictures that I have can’t depict the horror,” he says. “They can’t depict the smell. It’s just terrible, terrible scenes.”

From photographing moments with war leaders and future presidents, to being on the deck of the USS Missouri when the Japanese surrendered the war, his photographs captured some of the war’s most crucial turning points and will be printed in textbooks for years to come.

When I ask him how he wants to be remembered by history, he replies “As just a veteran.” But his legacy will be made up of much more.

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