Glenn Edward McDuffie, a US Navy sailor who served during WW2, died earlier this week, on March 9, at the age of 86. A native of Kannapolis, N.C., McDuffie moved to Houston, Texas in 1960 where he lived until 2009 when he moved to Dallas to spend his remaining years with his daughter.
On August 14, 1945, McDuffie unwittingly became the central theme of one of the most iconic photos of any generation. The photo referred to popularly as "Kissing The War Goodbye" is still used in photography and photojournalism classes today as a prime example of a great shot done right.
As he grabbed a nurse on the street and leaned in for a kiss, a passing photographer captured one of the most beautiful moments in our country's history just as McDuffie was finding out that the war was at an end. At the end of a long and brutal conflict, we were introduced to hope and love again on the front pages of the newspapers.
Glenn McDuffie's passing represents a sad moment in history, but thankfully he will forever be immortalized by the photo that was taken of him. A small fragment of time that for years stood as an anonymous couple in an uplifting portrait, finally has a rightful identity, and for that, it's hard not to be thankful.