Marcus Martin was the subject of a Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph, but for him, it wasn’t an occasion to celebrate.
Many have seen the image of Martin, 27, flying through the air after he was hit by a Dodge Charger plowing through a crowd protesting the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Aug. 12, but few know his name.
On May 12, Martin married the woman he pushed out of the way of that oncoming car, The New York Times reported.
Since last August, Marcus Martin has lost anonymity, a close friend and, at times, his coping skills. Marcus’s red-and-white footwear will be more familiar to many than his name. He’s the subject of a Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph, taken by @ryanmkellyphoto, in Charlottesville, Virginia, during the Unite the Right rally, which was organized by white nationalists. In the photo, Marcus is midair, spread-eagle with his back parallel to the hot asphalt, after being struck by a Dodge Charger driven by James Alex Fields, who would later be charged with 2nd-degree murder. Marissa Blair, 28, was inches away when the photo was taken. In a moment of clarity amid chaos, Marcus, 27, pushed her out of the way. The impact broke his ankle and shattered his lower leg. “Later he was like, ‘You know I saved your life, right?’” Marissa said. To hear him tell it, she had already saved his. @ryanmkellyphoto took this photo Marcus and Marissa on a much happier occasion — their wedding day. Visit the link in our profile to read their story.
Martin’s bride, Marissa Blair, 28, narrowly escaped being hit by the car and was inches away from the scene when the photo was taken.
Martin took the brunt of the impact himself so Blair wouldn’t have to, which broke his ankle and shattered his left leg.
“Later he was like, ‘You know I saved your life, right?’” Blair told the Times.
The couple had grown up near each other in Virginia, and they would see each other around town over the years. Martin’s sister graduated the same year as Blair.
“But I remember one day I went over to somebody’s house, and he was there, and I thought he was so handsome,” Blair recalled of one fateful day in 2011. “I went home and told my mother I met this gorgeous man.”
In October 2016, the two saw each other at a local club, and the two experienced an undeniable connection.
“I saw her and I was just like, ‘There’s the pretty lady again,’” Martin said. “Next thing I know I’m sitting on a bar stool, and I turn around, and she’s there. Marissa has these eyes that are sometimes hazel, sometimes green. She looked at me and I wanted to tell her, ‘Stop.’ Because those eyes, they do something to you.”
The two then fell in love and were engaged by the time the rally came to be. The violence “came out of nowhere” and the two were briefly separated once the chaos began. After they were reunited in the hospital, they learned that a good friend, Heather Heyer, had died.
The couple experienced some setbacks after the tragedy, but they worked to overcome them.
— Blavity (@Blavity) May 19, 2018
On May 12, the two were married on an estate in Reva, Virginia, in front of 150 friends and family.
At the reception, they honored Heyer by releasing a handful of butterflies. Heyer’s mother told WVIR that she believes her daughter is watching over the couple.
Their entire dream wedding was donated to them. Once vendors learned their story, they jumped at the chance to help.
“I can’t help them in the court room, I can’t help them fight the KKK, I can’t help racism, you know I can’t fix these things for them. What I can do is make their dreams come true with the help of my friends today,” wedding planner Christina Moore told WVIR.
Blair said the wedding sends a message to the rest of the world about love and hate.
“It proves hate won’t win and it proves that there are more good people in the world than there are bad and that love will win,” she said.
(H/T: The New York Times)