In July 2005, I made a trip to the National Archives with 2 other colleagues and we were going through photo collections. For 3 days we went through photo archives from World War II. I was going through the Heinrich Hoffmann collection, which was confiscated from his Berlin office towards the end of WWII. It appears as though only a few people had ever really been through the photo collection according to the National Archives logs. So, I felt privileged to be seeing something that has seen limited exposure.
Hoffmann was basically the lead propagandist photographer for Germany during WWII. While the history involved in the collection was very intriguing, it was hard not to feel a bit disgusted by the whole thing.
After a while, I started sifting through my colleagues' collection with them which was the US Marine Corps collection from Iwo Jima and Okinawa. There were photos of the devastation and loss and suffering and hardships that are a part of war.
Then, through it all came this picture of a smiling soldier. On top of his helmet sat this kitten that had some how survived through all of this chaos and destruction.
So, when I look at this picture it reminds me that even the smallest of creatures can make it through the very worst of times.
I do not have the original picture, but the bottom has the Marine's name. His last name is Campbell. I have not tried to locate the Marine, but I do wish that he had a very full life.