Photographer Tim Hetherington Captured Life, Not War, Says Friend


"I remember we got hit really hard once and there were bullets hitting all around us... and all of our gear and our bulletproof vests were like six feet away across some open space. We couldn't get to it because there was so much gun fire," Junger recalled. "I was just absolutely paralyzed. It was the only time that's happened in my life -- I was absolutely panicked. He drew a deep breath and jumped across the gap, through the gun fire, and grabbed my gear and his gear and jumped back again. And we were able to start working.

"It was a moment of bravery that just took my breath away."

Junger said that while at war, he and Hetherington lived in a world of heroes. He didn't think Hetherington would be comfortable with the title.

"I don't think it ever crossed his mind that he was brave, but he was an image maker and he was dedicated to his calling," Junger said. "And in some ways so dedicated to it that it wasn't a question of being brave or not. It was just something that he felt had to be done by somebody and he knew he was good at it -- he was really good at it -- and so he did it."

Junger had spoken to Hetherington just last week over the phone and then later in an email. In both conversations, he said he told Hetherington to be careful, but knew Hetherington was aware of the risks involved in covering violence in its most raw form.

"One of the things he really wanted to communicate was what it is about those situations that make people in some ways the most human they've ever been," Junger said. "He was in search of his own humanity, and I think he found it."

Hetherington was 40 when he died. In a statement, Hetherington's family noted that he would be remembered for his "amazing images" and his journalism, and said, "Tim was in Libya to continue his ongoing multimedia project to highlight humanitarian issues during time of war and conflict. He will be forever missed."

U.S. Army Major Dan Kearney, who was prominently featured in Hetherington and Junger's Afghanistan coverage, said that in his time with the troops, Hetherington became family.

"Tim wasn't just a friend," an emotional Kearney told ABC News after learning of Hetherington's death. "He was a brother to me."

President Barack Obama said in a statement he was "saddened" to learn of Hetherington's death and said he is "deeply concerned about the well-being of journalists who were wounded alongside him.

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"Journalists across the globe risk their lives each day to keep us informed, demand accountability from world leaders, and give a voice to those who would not otherwise be heard," he said.

Photographer Chris Hondros of Getty Images died of wounds received during the same Misrata attack that killed Hetherington. Guy Martin of Panos News Agency was also gravely wounded, while photographer Michael Brown was less severely wounded.

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