UVALDE – It’s a monumental moment in a child’s life -- waiting alone for the bus to take them to school.
It may seem inconsequential to adults, but one photographer is hoping to capture it in a new light.
“They really are waiting for the bus. You know, the bus comes down the road, and then it’s all over. When they get on the bus, they drive away. And I go,” Greg Miller, a photographer at The New Yorker Magazine, said.
This year in Uvalde, the moments waiting for the bus seem to hold more weight for kids and their parents alike.
Tonight on the #NightBeat we are featuring a photography project happening in Uvalde. It’s called the “Morning Bus” project. Greg Miller started it a decade ago in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting and was inspired to bring his work here following the Robb Elementary tragedy pic.twitter.com/TDOMGp0gO6— Leigh Waldman (@LeighWaldman) September 26, 2022
“When you’re there at the school, it’s just like a few feet, a few feet away. And it’s just...I mean it’s very powerful,” Miller said.
Miller made the trip from Connecticut to capture the innocence of these kids as they head back to school after the tragedy at Robb Elementary.
“We don’t bring children into the planet to be gunned down. They’re here to grow up,” Miller said.
The “Morning Bus” project isn’t new and neither is the message behind it. Miller started it in Newtown at Sandy Hook Elementary.
“The next Monday, you know, I, I was there with my daughter and I said goodbye to her when she went to school. And, you know, I felt like, is this going to be the last time I see her?” Miller said.
At Sandy Hook, 20 children never got the chance to grow up, six teachers never made it home from work.
It turned Miller’s world upside down. He looked at the morning bus routine in a new light.
“If Sandy Hook, the Sandy Hook shooting, didn’t stop us in our tracks...I mean, if Uvalde didn’t stop us in our tracks, like what will it take?” he questioned.
He never intended on expanding the project outside of Connecticut, but the atrocity and loss of life at Robb made him feel called to honor the lives of the 21 victims killed there.
“I’m sorry that it’s under these circumstances. However, I think it’s actually a way, in the same way, I felt like I could be honoring the victims of Newtown. I could be honoring the victims of Uvalde,” Miller said.
He’s been working for several weeks in Uvalde on the project, getting permission from parents to photograph their kids.
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but Miller hopes it might inspire action to protect our children when they step off the bus.
“I think we agree that childhood is precious, actually. If we agree on that, then I think we can we can get something done,” Miller said.
His project is close to being finished and should be published within the coming week.