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Sparky Songer, president of the Vermilion County War Museum, accepts a photo of the Danville National Cemetery from Becky Middleton of State Line, Ind.

The Vermilion County War Museum has photos of cemeteries from around the world, but none of the Danville National Cemetery.

However, a 12-year-old photographer has changed all that.

Becky Middleton of State Line, Ind., has donated her shot of the cemetery at the Veterans Affairs Illiana Health Care System to the museum.

“I just think it’s great,” said Harold “Sparky” Songer, president of the museum. “She had such a good view of it.”

Songer especially was impressed a young person would show interest in the cemetery — one she had never visited before — and then donate it to the museum.

He has framed the photo, which is on display at the museum. Text will be added later with information about the cemetery and the photographer.

The photo took first place at the Warren County (Ind.) 4-H Fair in June.

Becky’s grandfather, Dr. John Bromley of Danville, helped her come up with an idea for the entry. He suggested a photo at the National Cemetery because it would be different from most students’ entries.

Bromley and Becky went to the cemetery with his digital camera. She opened the car’s sunroof and stood on the seat to get a good shot. She wanted to show how the headstones are lined up in a curve.

“We just thought it would be a good idea,” she said. “I was having fun doing it.”

She wanted to make sure she got the shadow of a tree in the photo. But, that shadow kept her from winning the grand champion prize at the fair, Bromley said.

Bromley suggested loaning the photo to the museum, but Becky said she probably will leave it there permanently.

Her grandfather took a picture of her presenting the photo to Songer.

“I wish more granddads would take their children and grandchildren out there. It’s a beautiful cemetery,” Songer said. “Doc is to be commended.”

As for Becky’s photo in its place of honor among photos of national cemeteries, Songer said, “I know she’ll be proud and rightfully so.”

Becky said she takes photographs as a hobby, featuring her friends and places she visits.

Becky, a seventh-grader at Seeger Junior High School, is the daughter of Eric and Sally Middleton. She and her twin sister, Jessi, often visit their grandparents in Danville, John and Beverly Bromley.

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