IMAGE KINDLY DONATED BY GETTY IMAGES. Family and friends attend the funeral of internationally acclaimed photojournalist and film-maker Tim Hetherington at the Jesuit Church of the Immaculate Conception on May 13, 2011 in London. Photo © Dan Kitwood/Getty Images.
Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros, a Getty Images photographer, were killed last month in a mortar attack in Misrata, Libya. A memorial for Hondros took place on 27 April at Sacred Hearts of Jesus & Mary and St Stephen Roman Catholic Church in New York.
Joining Hetherington's parents, Alistair and Judith, were his siblings, Guy and Victoria, and his partner, Idil Ibrahim, along with more than a thousand friends and colleagues, as well as representatives of the US Army, who came together at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Mayfair to remember a man who lived a rich life as a photographer, journalist and filmmaker.
His friends Piers Dunn, Jon Levy and Sebastian Junger paid tribute to a man who always harboured a smile on his face. Levy recounted how he and Hetherington first met at a conference on multimedia and photography back in 1999. The two men started working together on photographic projects, before sharing an office on Great Portland Street in London.
Junger, with whom Hetherington directed the Oscar-nominated documentary Restrepo, said that Tim had the unique ability to connect with everyone he met.
"Tim spent his life documenting the human cost of war, and he has become part of that cost now," said Junger, who recounted a conversation he had, following Hetherington's death, with a Vietnam veteran. "He said, ‘You and Tim, in your work, got very, very close to understanding the reality of the war, but you didn't get all the way. The core truth, the ultimate reality of war isn't that you might get killed, it's that your brothers will get killed - you will lose your brother.' He said, ‘Sebastian, you now understand war. You've lost a brother and you now understand war.' He was right. I think all of us here [...] now know what it means. We know why it's devastating."
Junger added that while Hetherington changed the world through his work, he had, over the last four years, watched the world change him. "I've watched him at work. [I've watched him] give his heart to the soldiers, the Afghan [people], and the people here [...] This is my theory about Tim. I think that by allowing people access to his heart, he was actually gaining access to his own. I think that's what he was doing out there, why he was going into these countries. I think he was out there [...] to understand himself."
"Even though, my great friend and brother died in such tremendous violence, he also died at peace," he concluded.
Hetherington's family has expressed their thanks "for the tremendous support they have received." They have asked for donations to be made in Tim's memory to be sent to the following charities: The Milton Margai School for the Blind in Sierra Leone, Human Rights Watch, and the Committee to Protect Journalists.
An extended version of this article will appear in BJP's June issue, as well as on BJP Online early next week.
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