The sailor of the iconic victory celebration photo, where he is seen kissing a girl in New York’s Times Square, passed away at the age of 95.
A huge crowd had gathered that day to celebrate the United State’s victory over Japan in World War II. Every was enjoying in their own manner. US sailor George Mendonsa was one of them. He was running along the street and grabbing any girl nearby and kissing. Few minutes later he found 21 years old Greta Zimmer Friedman. Like others, sailor George took her in arms, bent a little bit and starts kissing. Photographer Alfred Eisenstadt from ‘Life’ magazine was present there at that time. He saw the scene and took no time to click. Later after publishing, the photograph became an iconic picture throughout the world. It also became one of the symbols of US victory over imperial Japan in second World War.
The girl of the photo Greta Zimmer Friedman died in 2016 at the age of 92.
Sharon Molleur, daughter of George Mendonsa told the press, her father suffered a seizure and died on Sunday after a fall at a Middletown care home in Rhode Island.
The photographer of the iconic image Alfred Eisenstadt never disclosed the identity of the kissing couple. However in later years George and Greta’s identity was revealed to the world.
Recalling the day, Alfred wrote in his book ‘Eisenstadt on Eisenstadt’ how he noticed a man with sailor’s uniform was running through the street on 14 August 1945. Alfred started to follow hm. He saw that the sailor was grabbing any young girl near him and start kissing. Suddenly Alfred saw the man had grabbed something white. Alfred moved around a little and noticed a nurse. The sailor already had started to kiss her. Alfred took no time to click his Leica camera’s shutter.
Alfred commented in his book, if the girl had been dressed in a dark dress, he would probably never have taken the photo.
That girl of the picture Greta Zimmer Friedman was working as a dental assistant at that time. Greta later said, she had no idea about the photograph until 1960s.
The remembered the day saying, “It wasn’t much of a kiss. It was just somebody celebrating. It wasn’t a romantic event.”
Sailor George Mendonsa was serving in the Pacific that time and was on leave at the time when the iconic photograph was taken.However, though the picture has been hailed as one of the most celebrated photographs in the history, many don’t quite agree with that. In recent years, some describe the photo as a symbol of public sexual harassment towards women.