More than 1,000 residents mourned a Brooklyn war photographer as an “American hero” at his funeral on Wednesday in Carroll Gardens.
Friends, family members and journalist colleagues of Chris Hondros gathered at Sacred Heart St. Stephen Church to remember and celebrate the life of the Pulitzer Prize–nominated photographer who was killed on assignment in Libya on April 20.
“He was an American hero,” said Buddy Scotto, owner of the funeral home that bears his name. “He did what he could to let the world know what is going on [in Libya]. This was a heroic mission.”
Scotto noted that Hondros, in a sense, was one of the few unbiased and uncensored links that people had to the “outside” world through his stirring images — especially for those individuals who came from his own community and neighborhood.
“People realized that he is a guy who puts his life on the line so that we can come to a conclusion of what role America should play [in the world],” Scotto said.
Borough President Markowitz was also on hand to comfort Hondros’s fiancée, Christina Piaia, and his mother, Igna Hondros.
“I hope his loved ones will be comforted by the prayers and thoughts of all us grateful for his professional sacrifice,” Markowitz later told reporters, echoing what he told the mourners.
Earlier in the month, Markowitz marked the death of Hondros — and colleague Tim Hetherington — with the ultimate tribute: flying the Brooklyn flag at half-staff over Borough Hall.
Hondros worked out of a studio on Varick Street near Nassau Avenue in Greenpoint, and has been covering man’s violence against his fellow man since journeying to Kosovo in 1998.
He was nominated in 2004 for the Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News Photography for shots that he took while working in Liberia.
His most well-known work comes from his 2005 picture series of Iraqi War images including the cold-blooded shooting of a family who failed to stop at a U.S. checkpoint by U.S. troops.
Hondros and Hetherington were killed by shellfire from Qaddafi forces in the rebel-held city of Misruta.
A burial service will be held this Saturday in his native Fayetteville, North Carolina.