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The many faces of freedom

Most of us are acutely aware of how politically divided our country feels now. Negative campaign ads, documentaries in support of one side or the other, arguments between friends and among family members are common. Iraq is a galvanizing topic.

I am troubled by such divisions, but I never forget how blessed we are in the United States. We will go to the polls peacefully Tuesday. We are free to support or oppose whomever we like without fearing for our lives. If the race is close, as it was in 2000, it may take weeks to declare a winner. But riots in the streets are not likely to follow.

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As I photographed both the Democratic and Republican national conventions this year, I was aware of my bias - who I agreed with and who I didn't. Yet as I looked at the faces of the delegates from both parties, I saw only people who cared deeply about their ideals, their candidates. So whatever I felt privately about the rhetoric from the podium, it wasn't hard to photograph the faces of Americans on both sides who love their country.

I took this image at the Republican National Convention in New York in August.