Carrying flowers and a balloon, a lone veteran of WWII walks down the streets of St Petersburg, Russia on March 9, 2007. 9 years later, and this photograph is still circulating, bringing up old memories and stirring the hearts of anyone who sees it.
Taken by Aleksandr Petrosyan, it shows a lone soldier, the last of his battle group marching down the street for the Victory Day Parade. Year after year, fewer men march in the parade, and it clearly takes a toll on the men remembering the war.
“War does not determine who is right – only who is left.”
A similar comparison can be made of this famous photograph, altered by a talented artist that depicts the memories of the men who haven’t made it this far in life. This picture from 2011 shows the first year that this veteran sits entirely alone. The only survivor from his unit, he sits at Gorky park on Victory Day in Moscow, just remembering.
“Reflections” by Lee Teter hits a little closer to home for some. Visiting the wall of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, a soldier remembers the men that he left behind.
The pictures continue to be shared year after year because they are so powerful. In just one image, they capture a powerful human emotion. While not everyone lived through a war, they know someone who has. Sometimes remembering and respecting the sacrifices made during terrible wars is just as important.