Sunday 13 April 2014

Faith and Confidence

It was September 11, 1957.  Washingtonians lined the street to watch a parade hosted by the Chinese Merchants Association.  One little boy, excited to see the dancing dragons, climbed off the curb.  A young policeman, clad in pressed pants and polished shoes, bent over to plead with the little boy to get back on the sidewalk.  Photographer William C. Beall, a combat photographer who was on Iwo Jima the day the American flag was raised, was ready with his Speed Graphic camera to snap a picture.  William raced back to the newsroom to develop his film.  The photograph ran on the front page of the Washington Daily News. Later, it was reprinted on the back page of Life magazine, taking on a life of its own.  

The photographer, who was on the wrong side of the island the day the American flag raising photo was captured on Iwo Jima, got his own iconic photograph right in his hometown.  Resembling a Norman Rockwell painting, it tugged at the heartstrings of the nation.  The photographer went on to win the Pulitzer Prize the following year. The policeman, Maurice Cullinane went on to become Washington D.C.'s Chief of Police in 1974.  And the little boy, Allen Weaver, grew up and moved to California where he worked in the entertainment industry.  

Note:  A statue duplicating the famous photograph "Faith and Confidence" was erected in Jonesboro, Georgia.

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