Inscription: V-E Day St. Dizier, France
No one in this photograph is smiling.
One man in the parade has either a grimace or is about to display a little pride, the guy directly behind him is about to make a face of some kind, but none of the others are showing emotion and surely no one is smiling.
The audience on the far side of the street looks tired, wary, contrite. You can't be sure about the soldiers in the foreground, but their minds are already heading back to Iowa, Florida and Arizona.
In the windows there are a few people peeking out. One person is holding a flag. Another person is holding a baby. "One day I will tell you about this. You won't remember it, but you'll grow up with this story. You were here, when. And it will forever be a part of our family history. The day we all started to put this behind us."
There's a sign just to the right of that tree for Citreon, a popular French carmaker both before and after the war known for their advanced engineering and innovation. Their designers kept working in secret during the occupation, helping build a brand loyalty that spanned generations. Today the company is a part of PSA Peugeot Citroen.