The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

On Veterans Day, 8 unforgettable photos of Americans returning from war

There’s pride, joy and relief in their faces.

New Yorkers hang out their windows on Sept. 10, 1919, to watch a victory parade down Fifth Avenue after the end of World War I. (National World War I Museum and Memorial)

In 1962, an aging Gen. Douglas MacArthur delivered a final speech to the corps of cadets at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He was nearing the end of his of life, and he knew it.

“The soldier, above all other people, prays for peace,” he said, “for he must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war.”

For Veterans Day, here are some historical photos of Americans who served celebrating the end of war and coming home.

The day the guns fell silent

Alta May Andrews, who served in the Army Nurse Corps in France during World War I, is on the far right in the above photo. Her collection of more than 400 photos from her service are at the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, Mo.

The Harlem Hellfighters were captured in a famous photo. Now a retired archivist has uncovered their stories.

At Korean summit in DMZ, ‘deranged’ ax murders still cast a shadow

Though the above photo, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1974, has been named “Burst of Joy,” the Air Force pilot’s return was anything but. Soon after his release from a North Vietnamese prison camp — days before this photo was taken — Lt. Col. Robert L. Stirm received a letter from his wife telling him she wanted a divorce.

Read more Retropolis:

New ‘Midway’ movie aims for reality, but the discovery of wreckage brings the battle home

Gen. George Patton’s wife put a Hawaiian curse on his ex-mistress. She was dead within days.

A young photographer took this harrowing image of the Vietnam War. He didn’t live to see it published.

The Christmas Truce miracle: Soldiers put down their guns to sing carols and drink wine

Loading...