Home International Times Square to re-enact famous V-J Day kiss

Times Square to re-enact famous V-J Day kiss


New York : The famous kiss between a US sailor and a nurse in Times Square was to be repeated Saturday to mark the 65th anniversary of the end of World War II in the Pacific with the defeat of Japan.

The war ended Aug 14, 1945, after the US dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, forcing Japan to surrender to allied forces. The date has been known as V-J Day.

Groups of Americans and certainly some tourists in crowded Times Square will re-enact the embrace in “kiss-in” demonstrations next to the statue of the sailor and the nurse, Edith Shain, who died in June this year at age 91.

A photographer, Alfred Eisentaedt, a German immigrant, was in Times Square Aug 14, 1945, where people were celebrating the end of the war, and took the iconic picture of the sailor grabbing the whited-coated Shain and bending her backwards for the famous kiss.

The sailor was never identified even though a few came forth to claim to be the man in the intervening decades.

Shain, who was identified as the woman in the picture only in the late 1970s, said before she died: “I went from hospital to Times Square that day because the war was over, and where else does a New Yorker go?”

“And this guy grabbed me and we kissed, and then I turned one way and he turned the other,” said Shain, who worked at Doctor’s Hospital in New York at the time.

V-J Day will be celebrated throughout the US as well in the first national day of remembrance for the generation of Americans who took part in World War II. Programmes call for buglers in some cities to play “Taps” and ceremonies to pay tribute to those who died in the war.

Shain was one of the backers of the long-planned cross-country celebrations, known as Keep the Spirit of ’45 Alive. The Eisentaedt photo can be seen on the group’s website, http://www.spiritof45.org/.