Hundreds gather in Times Square to reenact the famous picture of a sailor kissing a nurse on the 70th Anniversary of Victory over Japan Day — the end of World War II.
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (AUGUST 14, 2015) (REUTERS) – Hundreds of couples, young and old, gathered in Times Square on Friday (August 14), to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Victory over Japan Day, the day on which Japan surrendered effectively ending World War II.
In New York on that day, an iconic photograph of a sailor kissing a nurse titled “V-J Day in Times Square” was taken by photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt.
A giant statue of the kissing couple marked the exact location of the famous kiss, where on Friday the couples reenacted the moment to commemorate the end of the war.
Among them was Georgia couple Ray and Ellie Williams who are both World War II veterans.
“We didn’t really meet until May of 1945. And in June we were engaged, and were married in August. So it happened quickly. But in a wartime you have got to do things quickly, because you don’t really know what the future holds,” Ray recalled about meeting his wife.
The couple was chosen to represent the veterans, which Williams called “thrilling and privileged.”
Marcello and Barbara Carvisiglia, tourists from Italy said that it felt special to be part of the event.
“We don’t have such big feeling about it back in Italy. And, listening to the anthem, listening to people speaking, seeing those two 70-year old people kissing was very moving,” Marcello said.
Stephanie Moreno and her boyfriend David Grant said that for them the kiss represented love.
“We are true believers of true love and we believe that love crosses all boundaries and it has no limitations on gender, race, sexuality, anything. So it means a lot,” Moreno told Reuters.
The photograph does not clearly show the faces of the kissing couple, and the identity of the kissers remains unknown, although many have claimed to be the subjects.
The event was organized by non-profit “Keep the Spirit of ’45 Alive”, dedicated to inspiring young people with the lessons of the Greatest Generation.
Several other commemorative events are scheduled over the course of the weekend.