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Viral Photo PERFECTLY Captures Memorial Day Spirit, Its Origin Is Surprising

Viral Photo PERFECTLY Captures Memorial Day Spirit, Its Origin Is Surprising

There’s a pretty common picture we’ve all grown to associate with patriotism which perfectly embodies the spirit of Memorial Day – remembering our nation’s heroes past and present. While many have seen the image, and it’s gone viral several times over, how it came to be such an iconic photo is rather surprising.

The photo is of a bald eagle sitting perched atop a gravestone in the Fort Snelling National Cemetery, seemingly keeping watch over our fallen soldiers as the morning mist clears the area. It was taken by amateur photographer Frank Glick as he was on his way to work and drove through the cemetery early one morning, and little did he realize, that was the start of a series of events that would make the image known across the globe.

Viral Photo PERFECTLY Captures Memorial Day Spirit, Its Origin Is Surprising

Image credit: Frank Glick/Star Tribune

A friend of Glick’s saw the moving photo and suggested he try to track down any living relatives the deceased soldier may have, so that’s what Glick did. He ended up finding Maurice Ruch’s widow, Vivian, who said she would gladly accept a copy of the image showing an eagle looking over her husband.

After that, the same friend of Glick’s called reporter John Tevin to tell him what had happened between Glick and the soldier’s widow, and Tevin wrote an article about it. Shortly after, the story and image took off across the web, spreading like wildfire.

According to the Star Tribune:

“Mail and calls from Minnesota, then Chicago, Florida, Arizona, North Carolina and finally, Afghanistan. The picture and story had gone viral. I noticed 11,000 people had recommended it on Facebook. I forwarded scores and scores of requests for reprints to Glick. Unfortunately, he had become ill and has been in the hospital off and on since the column ran. Mail piled up.”

“It’s been pretty hard to keep up with this stuff,” Glick said. “It’s pretty amazing what’s going on.”

Ever since that short time, the photo has touched millions across the world, with some sending letters of gratitude to Glick and others using it as an inspiration for poems and songs. Veterans even reportedly called the cemetery crying after seeing the powerful image. More

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