At times it is difficult in here, just remembering him and remembering these images and the history we had together. I knew I wouldn’t be happy with it until it felt like John and until the final two months of the painting when I looked at it and realized that was John. That’s who he was. That’s who his family would recognize. It felt like John. I had finally made my peace with that painting.

I think ultimately the portrait of John becomes my personal stance against the endless number of John’s we have produced over the generations.

This Memorial’s Day, we remember, honor and celebrate all those who sacrificed greatly for our country. And in doing so, let’s also make a commitment to build a world where those sacrifices and war are unfathomable.

Thank you Walley Films and Vincent Valdez for sharing this story.

Ava love,

Joseph

Written by Joseph Zhang

Joseph is the co-founder and Board President of Project Ava. He believes a well-told story can foster understanding, promote awareness, and inspire people to action. He has a love for writing and film making, both of which has led him to various parts of the world in search of meaningful stories.

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