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Burst of Joy

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Categories : Photographs, Vietnam War

Having been shot down while piloting a F-105 fighter over Hanoi in 1967 during the Vietnam War, Lieutenant Colonel Robert Stirm finally returned home to the United States on March 17, 1973. Burst of Joy is the name of the photograph taken by Slava Veder capturing the moment when Stirm was reunited with his family at Travis Air Force Base in California and specifically refers to the emotional moment between he and his daughter. The photograph won the Pulitzer Prize in 1974, although the joy seen in the picture was short lived, as Stirm’s wife had informed him via letter only days earlier that she intended to divorce him.

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