HERNDON, VA -- (Marketwire) -- 05/17/12 -- "The American Soldier," a photographic tribute to U.S. Soldiers and Marines sponsored by EADS North America and Business of Entertainment, Inc., has passed the one million visitor milestone, underscoring its continued emotional resonance with people across the United States.
The "American Soldier" photo collection consists of 116 powerful images depicting Americans in service through nine conflicts, from the Civil War through and including Afghanistan and Iraq. It has attracted large crowds at each location on its nationwide tour, which began in 2007 and has included 12 different venues to date.
"The photographs are very compelling," said Cyma Rubin, "American Soldier" curator and producer, and president of Business of Entertainment, Inc. "People of all ages come -- a great number who are war veterans -- and in the imagery, they find something about themselves that has never been shown."
The collection currently is on an extended exhibition at the Ohio Historical Center in Columbus. The tribute will conclude its Ohio run on May 26, after which it will be moved for a multi-month display at the Durham Museum in Omaha, Neb., beginning Sept. 22. The EADS North America-backed U.S. tour will continue through at least 2014.
As part of EADS North America's initial sponsorship, the exhibit came to the Washington, D.C. area for a high-profile appearance in 2008 at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial, located at the entrance of Arlington National Cemetery. It was accompanied by an EADS North America-organized fundraising drive that generated nearly $300,000 in donations benefitting the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society and Army Emergency Relief.
"We're very proud to have helped launch what has become a nationwide tribute to the service and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform," said Sean O'Keefe, EADS North America CEO and Chairman. "We owe it to our veterans to ensure that all they have done for our nation is remembered."
According to Rubin, it is the humanity of American servicemen and women -- not the brutality of war -- that visitors connect with. Major themes covered by the diverse photo collection include camaraderie, family, humor, companionship, heroics and personal sacrifice.
For younger audiences, the "American Soldier" tribute is accompanied by a special educational program that helps visiting schools effectively relate to the collection's subject matter. "The kids are absolutely mesmerized by the photos," said Rubin. "They may come in very noisy, but as soon as they hit the exhibition, they're silent."
A documentary about "American Soldier" won the Michigan Broadcast Association's 2011 awards for Best Documentary and Best Special Interest Program. "Depth of Field: A Photographic Tribute to The American Soldier," was produced by Rubin with WGVU-TV in Grand Rapids, Mich., while "American Soldier" was on exhibit at the Gerald R. Ford Library and Museum there.
About EADS North America
EADS North America is the North American operation of EADS, a global leader in aerospace, defense and related services. As a leader in all sectors of defense and homeland security, EADS North America and its parent company, EADS, contribute over $11 billion to the U.S. economy annually and support more than 200,000 American jobs through its network of suppliers and services. Operating in 17 states, EADS North America offers a broad array of advanced solutions to its customers in the commercial, homeland security, aerospace and defense markets.
EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defense and related services. In 2011, the Group -- comprising Airbus, Astrium, Cassidian and Eurocopter -- generated revenues of EUR 49.1 billion and employed a workforce of over 133,000.