This month, the world marked the 60th anniversary of Jonas Salk's polio vaccine. Ten years ago I traveled to India on assignment for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review to document what was believed to be India's final efforts to eradicate the disease. Unfortunately, it wasn't. It took the country another eight years to finally be considered polio-free by the World Health Organization. This is a collection of some of my images from that trip in 2005.
Natalia Backos, 7, of Greensburg, sits with "Promise" a veteran grand champion standard schnauzer, that she showed at the Western Pennsylvania Kennel Association dog show at the Monroeville Convention Center, on Sunday, April 5, 2015.
October Twisdale, 6, of New Castle, Delaware peers out of a telephone booth after Captain America gave him a cape during the Capes4Heros event at the Ronald McDonald House of Pittsburgh in Lawrenceville on Wednesday evening, March 18, 2015. Capes4Heros hosted a superhero celebration and distributed 150 capes to children facing life-threatening challenges.
Sandy Brown, 61, poses for a portrait in her Saxonburg home on Tuesday, March 10, 2015. Brown had breast cancer surgery in December. On the day before surgery, she received a call from the hospital asking for payment or else they would cancel the procedure. Read Luis Fabragas' story in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Bryan Keller, 4, of Farrell, PA flexes his muscles with WWE Superstar Daniel Bryan as the professional wrestler visits with patients and their families at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC on Monday afternoon, March 9, 2015. The WWE Superstars and Divas visited the hospital as part of "Conner's Cure," an organization named in honor of Conner Michalek who passed away at age 8 from medulloblastoma, a rare tumor that affects the brain and spinal cord. "Conner's Cure" provides funds for pediatric brain and spinal cancer research and medical care for children and their families.
Nicole Geiger-Holloway dressed as "Elsa," left, pulls Abby Gerst, 8, of Fawn Township, Jessica White, 9, of Highlands, Stephanie Vozar dressed as "Anna," and Danni Wolverton, 8, of Pine Township at North Park's Ice Rink on Sunday, March 1, 2015.
University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Patrick Gallagher speaks at the honors convocation after being installed as the university's 18th chancellor at Carnegie Music Hall in Oakland on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015.
Savannah St. Clair, 14, studies her geography homework as she sits in her father, Chuck's booth, St. Clair Taxidermy out of Boswell, PA, at the Allegheny Sport, Travel and Outdoor Show at Monroeville Convention Center on Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015.
Artist Jennifer Wen Ma stands in her installation, "A Winter Landscape Cradling Bits of Sparkle" for the Market Square Public Art Program on Tuesday Downtown in Market Square. The installation will run from Feb. 19 through April 12.
Emily Fonville, 15, of Rochester, MI, center, rehearses on an open stage during the auditions for the Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) regional semi-finals on Saturday at the Byham Theater, Downtown, Feb. 14, 2015. Throughout the weekend hundreds of ballet dancers from 9-19 attended workshops, competitions, and dance classes. YAGP awards more than $250,000 a year in scholarships to send young dancers to leading schools and dance companies to continue their training. Selected competitors will continue on to the finals in New York.
John L. Ford Sr. is reflected in a display case as Capt. Darren Rogers, 911th Air Force Reserves, speaks at the 5th Annual African American Heritage Celebration's "Black Veterans With Success, Their History, Health and Commitment to Excellence" event on Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015 at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall in Oakland.
Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe, director of the St. Monica's Girls Tailoring Center in Gulu, Uganda, was presented an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree on Thursday, evening, Feb. 5, 2015 at Duquesne University. Honored by Time Magazine as one of its 100 Most Influential People of 2014, Sister Nyirumbe is the subject of the documentary, Sewing Hope, which chronicles her work at the Gulu vocational school, where she works with survivors of the Ugandan civil war. Many of the young women and girls were kidnapped from their families and forced to be married and child soldiers. To learn more about Sister Nyirumbe's work and the film, Sewing Hope visit sewinghope.com.
Gulls flock to Pittsburgh's three rivers near the North Shore on Friday, Jan. 30, 2015. The gulls have migrated from the frozen Great Lakes to the open waters of the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio Rivers of Pittsburgh. Estimates put the flock's size as high as 7,000 and comprising of many different species of gulls including ring-billed, herring gull, Iceland gull, glaucous gull and lesser and greater black-backed gulls and kelp gull. Read more about the visiting gulls in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Skiers take to the slopes at Boyce Park during their SnowFest 2015 on January 24, 2015 in Plum, PA. SnowFest 2015 runs from Jan. 23-25 and includes indoor and outdoor games, activities as well as the usual activities offered at the park.
On January 12, 2010 a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti, leaving a death toll that Haiti's government puts at 316,000. I traveled to Haiti for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review in the days that followed the earthquake. These are a few of my images.
Justin Merriman, an award-winning photojournalist with the Tribune-Review, has spent more than a decade traveling the world to cover politics, wars, natural disasters and civil unrest. His work has appeared in leading national and international publications and he has received numerous top journalism awards. After covering the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks – including the crash of United Flight 93 in Shanksville – Merriman committed to chronicling the U.S. military and its War on Terror. He has followed this story across the US and into the war zones of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq. He also has covered life in Fidel Castro’s Cuba in 2002, India’s efforts to eradicate polio, the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to Cuba in 2012, the 2013 conclave and election of Pope Francis in Rome, the second anniversary of Egypt's revolution and subsequent unrest, and most recently, Russia's invasion of Crimea and the international crisis that unfolded in Ukraine. Merriman lives in Oakmont with his fiancé, Stephanie Strasburg.