Photo Essay

In the line of fire


Former President Bill Clinton made an appearance at a democratic rally in New Jersey today. I had the opportunity to exchange a few words and shake hands with the most successful U.S. president since World War II.

I also had an up close and personal view of the tireless secret service agents, that co-ordinate and maintain a safe environment for their protectees.

Constantly roving eyes, icy stares, whispering into walkie-talkies, they make sure that every event goes without a hitch.

The United States Secret Service Agency, one of the country's oldest federal investigative law enforcement agencies, was initially founded in 1865 as a branch of the U.S. Treasury Department to combat the counterfeiting of U.S. currency – a serious problem at the time.

Following the 1901 assassination of President William McKinley in Buffalo, New York, the Secret Service was then tasked with its second mission – the protection of the president.

Today, the Secret Service's mission is the protection of the president, vice president and others; and investigations into crimes against the financial infrastructure of the United States.

According to the agency, the demands required of a special agent include working long hours in undesirable conditions on short notice.

The agents wear attire that is appropriate for the surroundings, typically a conservative business suit. They also wear lapel pins of a color and shape that vary regularly due to security reasons. Each design prominently features the service's star emblem in the center.

At the rally, the president rocks the house, as only he can! Upon conclusion of his speech, he reaches into the crowds, much to the chagrin of his secret service agents. Everyone crushes in to shake his hands, the flashbulbs go berserk reaffirming his enduring popularity.

As the presidential motorcade leaves with the president waving out, I mention to one of the agents, "You have a thankless job!"

He smiles and says, "Thanks, I know!"

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27 responses

  • Aubrey's Oma

    Aubrey's Oma (Deleted) gave props (1 Nov 2008):

    Definitely gets my vote!

  • Susan Littlefield

    Susan Littlefield gave props (1 Nov 2008):

    Very informative look into an important agency. The photos are brilliant!

  • david ong

    david ong gave props (2 Nov 2008):


  • paloma roma

    paloma roma gave props (2 Nov 2008):

    Great Essay, photographs and Opportunity!

  • Spectre Photo

    Spectre Photo gave props (3 Nov 2008):

    you have my the shots

  • Michael Adams

    Michael Adams gave props (3 Nov 2008):

    Wow. Great composition and a wonderful article. Got my vote

  • Elise Ange

    Elise Ange gave props (4 Nov 2008):

    Great story! nicely done in B&W!

  • Rhaedyn

    Rhaedyn (Deleted) said (4 Nov 2008):

    i love love love this story. and the photos are amazing!

  • Tiia Vissak

    Tiia Vissak gave props (4 Nov 2008):

    yes, of course!

  • Robb Rosenfeld

    Robb Rosenfeld gave props (4 Nov 2008):

    Good stuff.

  • Photography Seven

    Photography Seven said (5 Nov 2008):

    brilliant shots

  • Richard Johnson

    Richard Johnson gave props (5 Nov 2008):

    Who knew they were so attractive!! That's a great photo essay.

  • victor garcia

    victor garcia gave props (5 Nov 2008):

    Great shots!

  • Kerry Adamo

    Kerry Adamo gave props (6 Nov 2008):


  • Irvan Lubis

    Irvan Lubis said (7 Nov 2008):

    Definitely vote. Great story!

  • Jordan Shepler

    Jordan Shepler (Deleted) said (7 Nov 2008):

    Copying from a source (wikipedia in this case) without citing is plagiarism.
    No yes vote this time...

  • d s

    d s gave props (7 Nov 2008):

    The source is the United Stated Secret Service agency and is credited in the story.

  • Laura Brunow Miner

    Laura Brunow Miner said (7 Nov 2008):

    Really timely and interesting.

  • Tom Mertens

    Tom Mertens gave props (8 Nov 2008):

    It's got my vote.

  • geoff waugh

    geoff waugh said (10 Nov 2008):

    I would have liked to have seen more images from more events rather than just one.
    A tight edit from a variety of images would tell a more complete story.
    At the moment it looks like you have walked all around one guy. I do like the one where he has clocked you though!

  • n n

    n n (Deleted) gave props (10 Nov 2008):

    Yep, sure got my vote. The photos are great and the text fit perfect. Like the way the story is angled around the agent and I think you have used your given opportunity in a good manner. Really nice work and a great series (again:)

  • Leslie Granda-Hill

    Leslie Granda-Hill gave props (11 Nov 2008):

    Great job on the story!

  • Christopher Vaughn

    Christopher Vaughn gave props (12 Nov 2008):

    Nice work.

  • .Rachelle

    .Rachelle gave props (6 Dec 2008):

    Photos & captions are great.

  • Niki Conolly

    Niki Conolly gave props (9 Jan 2009):

    you nailed it! love it

  • Alexandru Iedu

    Alexandru Iedu gave props (17 Apr 2009):

    Very, very good story idea, my congratulation for your photos and work to get them... :) My Vote.

  • John Linton

    John Linton gave props (20 Apr 2009):

    I give this photo essay a big Bubba two thumbs up...Yeah! It rocks!

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