40 Of The Most Powerful Photographs Ever Taken

A moving collection of iconic photographs from the last 100 years that demonstrate the heartbreak of loss, the tremendous power of loyalty, and the triumph of the human spirit. Warning: Some of these will make you weep.

1.

Sisters pose for the same photo three separate times, years apart.

2.

A Russian war veteran kneels beside the tank he spent the war in, now a monument. (More pictures here.)

3.

A Romanian child hands a heart-shaped balloon to riot police during protests against austerity measures in Bucharest.

4.

Retired Philadelphia Police Captain Ray Lewis is arrested for participating in the Occupy Wall Street protests in 2011.

5.
Asianewsphoto / Reuters

A monk prays for an elderly man who had died suddenly while waiting for a train in Shanxi Taiyuan, China.

6.
Vanderlei Almeida / Getty Images

A dog named “Leao” sits for a second consecutive day at the grave of her owner, who died in the disastrous landslides near Rio de Janiero on January 15, 2011.

7.
Associated Press / AP

The 1968 Olympics Black Power Salute: African American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos raise their fists in a gesture of solidarity at the 1968 Olympic games. Australian Silver medalist Peter Norman wore an Olympic Project for Human Rights badge in support of their protest. Both Americans were expelled from the games as a result.

8.

Jewish prisoners at the moment of their liberation from an internment camp “death train” near the Elbe in 1945. (More pictures and the full story here.)

9.

John F. Kennedy Jr. salutes his father’s coffin along with the honor guard.

10.

Christians protect Muslims during prayer in the midst of the uprisings in Cairo, Egypt, in 2011.

11.
Kim Ho-Young / Reuters

A North Korean man waves his hand as a South Korean relative weeps, following a luncheon meeting during inter-Korean temporary family reunions at Mount Kumgang resort October 31, 2010. Four hundred and thirty-six South Koreans were allowed to spend three days in North Korea to meet their 97 North Korean relatives, whom they had been separated from since the 1950-53 war.

12.

A dog is reunited with his owner following the tsunami in Japan in 2011.

13.

“Wait For Me Daddy,” by Claude P. Dettloff, October 1, 1940: A line of soldiers march in British Columbia on their way to a waiting train as five-year-old Whitey Bernard tugs away from his mother’s hand to reach out for his father. (H/t Jodi P)

14.

Navy chaplain Luis Padillo gives last rites to a soldier wounded by sniper fire during a revolt in Venezuela. (Héctor Rondón Lovera)

15.
Rich Lam / Getty Images

Australian Scott Jones kisses his Canadian girlfriend Alex Thomas after she was knocked to the ground by a police officer’s riot shield in Vancouver, British Columbia. Canadians rioted after the Vancouver Canucks lost the Stanley Cup to the Boston Bruins.

16.
Jeff Roberts / AP

A mother comforts her son in Concord, Alabama, near his house which was completely destroyed by a tornado in April of 2011.

17.
Jim Mahoney/Dallas Morning News / AP

Pearl Harbor survivor Houston James of Dallas is overcome with emotion as he embraces Marine Staff Sgt. Mark Graunke Jr. during the Dallas Veterans Day Commemoration at Dallas City Hall in 2005. Sgt Graunke, who was a member of a Marine ordnance-disposal team, lost a hand, leg, and eye while defusing a bomb in Iraq in July of 2004.

18.
Stan Honda / Getty Images

Phyllis Siegel, 76, left, and Connie Kopelov, 84, both of New York, embrace after becoming the first same-sex couple to get married at the Manhattan City Clerk’s office in 2011.

19.
Yomiuri Shimbun / Reuters

A 4-month-old baby girl in a pink bear suit is miraculously rescued from the rubble by soldiers after four days missing following the Japanese tsunami.

20.

A French civilian cries in despair as Nazis occupy Paris during World War II.

21.

PoW Horace Greasley defiantly confronts Heinrich Himmler during an inspection of the camp he was confined in. Greasley also famously escaped from the camp and snuck back in more than 200 times to meet in secret with a local German girl he had fallen in love with.

22.
Mark Pardew / Reuters

A firefighter gives water to a koala during the devastating Black Saturday bushfires that burned across Victoria, Australia, in 2009.

23.
Justin Lane-Pool / Getty Images

Robert Peraza pauses at his son’s name on the 9/11 Memorial during the tenth anniversary ceremonies at the site of the World Trade Center.

24.

Jacqueline Kennedy wears her pink Chanel suit, still stained with the blood of her husband, as Lyndon Johnson takes the oath of office in Air Force One.

According to Lady Bird Johnson, who was also present:

“Her hair [was] falling in her face but [she was] very composed … I looked at her. Mrs. Kennedy’s dress was stained with blood. One leg was almost entirely covered with it and her right glove was caked, it was caked with blood – her husband’s blood. Somehow that was one of the most poignant sights – that immaculate woman, exquisitely dressed, and caked in blood.”

25.
Eric Gay / AP

Tanisha Blevin, 5, holds the hand of fellow Hurricane Katrina victim Nita LaGarde, 105, as they are evacuated from the convention center in New Orleans.

26.
Yuriko Nakao / Reuters

A girl in isolation for radiation screening looks at her dog through a window in Nihonmatsu, Japan on March 14.

27.
Robyn Beck / Getty Images

Journalists Euna Lee and Laura Ling, who had been arrested in North Korea and sentenced to 12 years hard labor, are reunited with their families in California after a successful diplomatic intervention by the U.S.

28.

Terri Gurrola is reunited with her daughter after serving in Iraq for 7 months.

29.

“La Jeune Fille a la Fleur,” a photograph by Marc Riboud, shows the young pacifist Jane Rose Kasmir planting a flower on the bayonets of guards at the Pentagon during a protest against the Vietnam War on October 21, 1967. The photograph would eventually become the symbol of the flower power movement.

30.
Jeff Widener / AP

The iconic photo of Tank Man, the unknown rebel who stood in front of a column of Chinese tanks in an act of defiance following the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.

31.
Terril Jones / AP

Another, recently unearthed photo of the Tank Man incident, which shows a new angle of his act of protest, now at a distance. Tank Man can be seen through the trees on the left, and the tanks can be seen on the far right.

32.
Jack Bradley, date unknown / Via thehighdefinite.com

Harold Whittles hears for the first time ever after a doctor places an earpiece in his left ear.

33.
photos / Getty Images

Helen Fisher kisses the hearse carrying the body of her 20-year-old cousin, Private Douglas Halliday, as he and six other fallen soldiers are brought through the town of Wootton Bassett in England.

34.

U.S. Army troops wade ashore during the D-Day Normandy landings on June 6, 1944.

35.
Helmuth Pirath / Via worldpressphoto.org

A German World War II prisoner, released by the Soviet Union, is reunited with his daughter. The child had not seen her father since she was one year old.

36.
Daily News Journal, Aaron Thompson, File / AP

Eight-year-old Christian Golczynski accepts the flag for his father, Marine Staff Sgt. Marc Golczynski, during a memorial service. Marc Golczynski was shot on patrol during his second tour in Iraq (which he had volunteered for) just a few weeks before he was due to return home.

37.

Pele and British captain Bobby Moore trade jerseys in 1970 as a sign of mutual respect during a World Cup that had been marred by racism.

38.
Goran Tomasevic / Reuters

A Sudan People’s Liberation Army soldier stands at attention on the eve of South Sudan’s independence from Sudan.

39.
The Decatur Daily, Gary Cosby Jr / AP

Greg Cook hugs his dog Coco after finding her inside his destroyed home in Alabama following the Tornado in March, 2012.

40.

Earthrise: A photo taken by astronaut William Anders during the Apollo 8 mission in 1968.

H/t to this Reddit thread, Iconic photos, and World Press Photo for some of these photographs.

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