There is no particular narrative accompanying Burt Glinn's pictures of the welcoming parade held in 1951 to honor General Douglas MacArthur in New York. It is easy to learn online that the event was one of the major ticker tape parades of the time honoring a returning national hero. The selection of pictures showcased on the website of a prominent photo agency reproduces it in line with documentary portrayals of patriotic displays of the time. There is one picture, however, which breaks through the boundaries of this series. Who are these people? Why were they there and what did they aim to achieve? The questions may not arise in this particular order, but there is one thing so obvious that it immediately stands out: Where are the men?
In order to decipher the truth of the photograph, I wanted to know the answers, beginning with the very first question: Who were these people? As I began my research, I was hoping to find something which would bring me closer to the persons depicted. However, I was unable to find many details in articles or other online sources and I had no opportunity to search locally, which inspired in me a more contextualized way of thinking. I tried to find out more about possible situations and started focusing my questions more actively on the circumstances rather than the persons: What was actually there?