That Nurse-kissing Sailor In Times Square Has Passed

LewTheShoe

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The Kiss.jpeg


On August 14, 1945, sailor George Mendonsa was in New York on leave from his Navy destroyer. He had a date that afternoon, his first date with a young lady named Rita Petry. They took in a show at Radio City Music Hall, but the show was interrupted by a crowd from the street... banging on the theater doors, shouting that the war with Japan was over. The young couple ran into the street, hit up a few bars, and soon found themselves in Times Square.

Giddy from the news, and assisted by the booze, George Mendonsa grabbed a passing nurse and planted upon her lips the 20th century's most iconic smooch. The nurse, Greta Zimmer Friedman, described the moment years later... "It wasn't really that much of a kiss." LOL.

George Mendonsa passed away last Sunday, two days before his 96th birthday. Rita Petry, his date that day in New York, did not get "The Kiss" but she did get the sailor... 70 years of marriage.

https://www.apnews.com/c19c4a13801247ffa42134a500d5ca18

https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/18/us/sailor-kiss-vj-day-photo-george-mendonsa-dies/index.html
 

Johali

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Rip. I remember seeing that picture in movie theater newsreels in the late 40s or early 50s. In Sept of every year for many years they had the picture showcased all over.
 

Greg

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One of the most joyful spontaneous moments ever caught on film. A normal picture speaks a thousand words, and this one spoke millions.

The war was won, sons and brothers were coming home. Too many were lost forever and those still living were fortunate.
And here is the fairy tale moment that no honest writer would ever write, it is just too incredibe to make up. But it was real the soldier saw the beautiful nurse and the life force was still free and strong enough to forget all else.

I was not even born yet and it still inspires me to ramble on like a fool. God only knows the real suffering, passion, and bittersweet joy of that those who really lived that moment and time.

RIP

And God bless everyone that paid the price including the mothers and all of the broken hearts.
They endured things I can only imagine.
 

Johali

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One of the most joyful spontaneous moments ever caught on film. A normal picture speaks a thousand words, and this one spoke millions.

The war was won, sons and brothers were coming home. Too many were lost forever and those still living were fortunate.
And here is the fairy tale moment that no honest writer would ever write, it is just too incredibe to make up. But it was real the soldier saw the beautiful nurse and the life force was still free and strong enough to forget all else.

I was not even born yet and it still inspires me to ramble on like a fool. God only knows the real suffering, passion, and bittersweet joy of that those who really lived that moment and time.

RIP

And God bless everyone that paid the price including the mothers and all of the broken hearts.
They endured things I can only imagine.
I was 2 years old when the war ended so I remember a great deal about the continuing reporting on it. And also watching family and friends coming home. It was very much a bittersweet time. That single picture healed a lot of wounds.
 

DUN24

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Today that sailor would me #metoo'd and court-martialed.

RIP nonetheless.
 

Whizzer

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I was in Albany, NY, with my parents on V-J Day. At the age on eight, I remember it well. They got the news over the radio and my Dad and Uncle asked if I wanted to go downtown Albany with them. It was a sight to behold! People climbing on top of trolley cars, walking in the roads stopping traffic, and simply celebrating in every way imaginable. I also recall with vivid memory, the next morning, my Dad said lets go downtown again to see what it looks like now the celebrating is over and we saw people passed out on the street, most likely from drink, paper and everything else strewn about, it was a mess!!

On another note, in the center of Sarasota, Florida, there is a larger than life statue of the kiss by the sailor. Someone chose to deface it the day Mendonsa died using red spray paint to imprint, "#metoo" on the leg of the nurse. It was quickly removed but still...

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/statue-based-famous-wwii-kissing-sailor-
photo-spray-painted-metoo-n973151

At the age of 82, my memories of the war years and how people lived at that time are quite vivid.
 

LewTheShoe

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On another note, in the center of Sarasota, Florida, there is a larger than life statue of the kiss by the sailor. Someone chose to deface it the day Mendonsa died using red spray paint to imprint, "#metoo" on the leg of the nurse...
It is unfortunate (for everyone) that "The Kiss" has become controversial in some quarters. I support women's rights and empowerment, including the #metoo movement. There are many injustices... and there is a lot of good to come from #metoo. However, some incidents are exaggerated and/or opportunistic... and they sadly dilute the women's movement.

Activists who support #metoo should have the wisdom and judgement to file "The Kiss" in the bottom drawer at the very back... labelled "No Harm, No Foul."
 

Johali

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That woman has said in many interviews that it wasn't inappropriate, that it was consensual. She should know, she was the kissee/kisser.
 
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