While there are so many photographs of war, very few of them focus on the quiet moments before and after. This unique image caught a hushed, sacred moment for many soldiers. Here you can see U.S. Army Father (Major) Edward J. Waters, a Catholic Chaplain from Oswego, New York, as he conducts Divine Services on a pier. Around him, members of the first assault soldiers and sailors all kneel and take a moment for prayer. This was one of their final moments of peace before they set off — and it’s hard to imagine that they would land on the shores of Normandy only a few hours after this photo was taken. At the moment, their faces look determined as they focus on prayer.
Weymouth, Dorset, England, U.K.
6 June 1944.