Christian Michelle Harris’ newborn photo shoot was a tribute to a father she’ll never meet, with his boots, his uniform and his portrait serving as poignant reminders of a fallen soldier.
Army Spc. Christopher Harris was killed in August by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan when his wife, Brittany Harris, was just six weeks pregnant. It was his first deployment. Brittany, who lives in North Carolina, said she wanted the photos taken by NPS Photography to reflect her husband’s memory.
“I wanted Christian’s newborn pictures to be patriotic in a way,” she said via email. “I wanted to capture as much of Chris’s spirit as I could. He was extremely devoted to the Army and his country. I thought nothing could be more fitting for her photos and something she can look back on with pride.”
Christopher was a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division, stationed at Fort Bragg. Members of his unit took part in a gender-reveal celebration for Christopher and Brittany’s baby from Afghanistan in October. Brittany sent them confetti cannons.
“My boy Harris, we’re gonna do it for him, we’re going to see what kind of baby he’s going to have,” Cpl. Nathan Bagley, a paratrooper, said in a video. “I don’t know if it’s a boy or girl or zebra or unicorn, but we’re going to find out.”
The confetti cannons sent a wave of pink over the cheering soldiers. Brittany said that she wanted to included the soldiers who were still deployed because “they’re still grieving,” according to the Washington Post.
“They’re just doing it away from the rest of us,” she said. “I wanted them to be the first to know the gender and reveal it, to let them know they’re family and part of this journey with me.”
That journey includes keeping Christopher’s memory alive for her daughter.
“I want Christian to be so proud of her father,” Brittany said. “I want her to know every detail about him. I want her to light up and smile when she talks about him instead of feeling sad that he’s not here. I want her to always brag about who her father was and the sacrifice he made. I plan to show her pictures and videos I have. To let her meet his fellow soldiers and hear stories about him from them. I’m extremely close to my mother-in-law so she will be able to share every detail of Chris’s life with Christian as well.”
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