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Modern photojournalism as we know it today, has its roots in Antebellum America during the mid-1800s. Evolved in the crucible of the American Civil War, photojournalism at its best is able to do something that audio, motion pictures and video cannot: capturing moments in time and create an iconic memory for the ages. Nowhere was this more true, then during the heyday of film-based image capture in World War II. Courageous and daring combat photojournalists like Robert Capa, Joe Rosenthal and Capt. Edward Steichen risked their lives around the world to capture the iconic images that defined combat during that era for a generation of Americans. But it was a single photograph, captured on the final day of World War II, in of all places Times Square, that every American associates with VJ ( Victory Over Japan) Day: Alfred Eisenstadt’s classic The Kissing Sailor. Made world-famous by its publication in LIFE Magazine, The Kissing Sailor stood as proof to a weary America that the war was over, and peace was at hand.
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This would not have been any more newsworthy than the passing of many WWII veterans every day. However, as this USA article notes.
Glenn McDuffi was considered by many to be Kissing Sailor in Alfred Eisenstaedt’s world-famous V-J Day, 1945 photograph. That was news. However, as we detail in our U.S. Naval Institute book, The Kissing Sailor, Mr. McDuffie is not the sailor in the famous Life photo. George Mendonsa is.
The kissing sailor and white dressed woman in Eisenstaedt’s V-J Day, 1945, in Times Square still walk amongst us. And while the scene they created appears so familiar to most, we know far too little. Against all the odds, and with fate’s forces at their back, two strangers traversed a triumphant world’s most popular square on the day that history’s most destructive war ended. Without rehearsal or intent, they communicated what the climax of a victorious war felt like. The particulars of that saga inspire the human spirit. Proof of their part in that iconic photo persuades the inquisitive. Treatment of their claims upsets the fair-minded. Forces well beyond their control have denied them their due far too long. Their story, most worthy of the celebrated begs telling.
The search for the kissing sailor is not our exclusive undertaking. Some of the findings fall short of breaking news. What we add to the discussion, while considerable, always existed for consideration. Well over a half-century ago a photographer and his Leica camera made plainly visible almost everything needed to make a positive identification of the kissing sailor. All one had to do is look. Really look. Not just watch.
Additionally, Act of Valor was just awarded the Military Writers Society of America Silver Medal Award for fiction. You can read more about the making of the movie and the evolution of the book on the website.
Now that Lone Survivor recently hit the box office bringing in $38M gross. You can read the box office analysis here.
In addition to being a New York Times best-seller, Act of Valor is a Military Writers Society of America 2013 Awards Finalist.
If you’re interested in purchasing Act of Valor for yourself you can pick up a copy here:
Barnes and Noble
George Galdorisi is famous for works such as, “Leave No Man Behind”, “Act of Valor” and “The Kissing Sailor”. Odds are if you haven’t had the chance to pick up one of these works, you’ve at least heard of them. Act of Valor, while being written, hit the cinema and drew in over $81,000,000 at worldwide box offices. The Kissing Sailor, another one of George Galdorisi’s astounding works that reveals the two members of the iconic end-of-the-war kiss photo, and has been featured in the news and media for the past year.
George’s works are well-known and it’s no surprise that they have garnished some great reviews such as these:
Leave No Man Behind
Tom Clancy Presents: Act of Valor
The Kissing Sailor (MWSA) | The Kissing Sailor (USNWC – *Last on Page)
After reading these, and the many other great reviews that are circling the web, you’re going to want to pick up these works at your local Barnes and Noble, or on Amazon.com. Don’t forget to leave your own reviews of all of George Galdorisi’s books.
The Kissing Sailor himself, George Mendonsa, will be featured today on The Katie Couric show. The show airs locally in Maryland at 4:00 pm. To find out more about the Katie Couric Show, visit her website and make sure to tune in today at 4.
The Kissing Sailor mystery and book have been featured on the Travel Channel’s, Monumental Mysteries.
The power of the great American Story told in The Kissing Sailor, can be seen in the David Owens story in the Huntsville Times, but perhaps more importantly, in the speed at which this story was picked up in other media. This story resonates with America.