Providence Journal Reviews, The Kissing Sailor

It is the most iconic photograph in American History – perhaps in all history. Why? Because when people look at this picture V-J Day 1945, In Times Square they understand what it felt like when World War II ended. But until now, we knew very little about V-J Day, 1945, In Times Square.

And to this day, sixty-five years after this picture was taken, it is not hyperbole to say that interest in this picture, this event, this moment, has not flagged, it has only intensified. An August 14, 2010 front-page article in the New York Times about a woman at the periphery of one of the five photos of the sailor and nurse that day said it best:

It is a defining image of the American century, one that expressed the joy of a nation at its moment of greatest triumph: on the day of the Japanese surrender in World War II was announced, a sailor grabbed a nurse in the middle of Times Square, bent her back and kissed her. That kiss on V-J Day was captured in at least two photographs – one iconic, one merely famous. And for decades since, there have been debates. Who was the sailor? Who was the nurse? A number of people have staked claims, and countless stories have tried to sort them out.

And for those of us who were there to capture the energy of the re-enactment of that moment on August 14, 2010, the energy and excitement was palpable. This is not ancient history to the overwhelming majority of Americans who were born after this photo was taken. It is a living, breathing, manifestation of who we are. Tellingly, the age span of the throngs who jammed Times Square sixty-five years to the day after the event ran from teenagers to people in their eighth or ninth decade. Read more in this article from the Providence Journal.

No comments

Post a Reply