When voting for the U.S. Army Photo of the Year 2012 ended it was an image snapped in Cupertino that came away as the best.
“I just wanted to let you know that my photo was voted ‘Army Photo of the Year,’” wrote Kim Monack, the photographer of the winning photo. “Thank you for all your support and your votes.”
At least some of the votes came through the Cupertino Patch article “Memorial Park Photo on U.S. Army's 2012 Photo of the Year List”, which published Monack’s photo first on Jan. 25.The shot was taken in Memorial Park. Campbell Patch also ran the article on the same day and the Campbell Veterans Memorial Foundation helped spread the word.
"A great photo! A great compliment to Cupertino's Veteran Memorial as well. Now, let's get out the vote!," wrote Patch reader Bob M.
The photo has stirred emotions and drawn people to Monack in ways she never imagined.
“I am finding through this photo, that many people have a story to tell. Sons, daughters, mothers and fathers, grandfathers, etc...who have served in the military and have fought in many wars. My hope is that because of this photo, some who might not have known about your beautiful memorial, will come and visit,” she told Cupertino Patch in an email.
Monack’s winning photo tallied 573 votes on the U.S. Army website. More than 100 photos were in the running, many of them submitted by troops, which made Monack’s heart twinge when she thought about taking a win away from a soldier.
“I have a heart for soldiers, I need to let one of them win … I don’t want to take anything away from these soldiers in combat,” Monack says. “But then one of my sons said, ‘You’re an Army mom of three, you deserve it, too.’”
The October photo is of her grandson, Eddy, 1, whose father is Spc. Franklin Monack, 2nd Battalion, 13th Aviation Regiment. Monack was visiting with the wife of another son and Army vet, Tommy, who is a student at De Anza College.
Monack had not been to Memorial Park though she lived for a while in Cupertino as a child, attended Garden Gate Elementary and lived in the cherry orchards behind where the park now sits.
Monack’s photo got more than 200 views on Cupertino Patch’s Facebook page, and according to the Cupertino Courier the photo was shared 6,153 times and “liked” by 14,881 people on Facebook, by the Courier’s press time. It was those shares and likes that encouraged Monack to submit the photo in the first place.
Read more about Monack and the photo in “Memorial Park Photo on U.S. Army's 2012 Photo of the Year List”.