17 August 2010

Times Square Kiss-In Commemorates V-J Day

On Saturday people gathered for a kiss-in in New York’s famous Times Square.  It was more than a little strange in as much as the event was both a re-enactment and a commemoration.  However, as kiss-ins go, this has some history behind it.

More importantly it commemorated the 65th anniversary of V-J Day. The celebrations were to mark the day, sixty five years ago, that Japan surrendered and which ultimately ended the Second World War.  As such it both commemorates the end of the biggest conflict in human history, the lives lost during the war and those saved due to its end.

The re-enactment is that of the picture (left) taken on V-J Day in 1945 which has become somewhat iconic.  Alfred Eisenstaedt took the picture and it was later published in Life magazine. The lady in the picture, Edith Shain, made it her life’s work to keep the spirit of ’45 alive but sadly recently died at the ripe old age of 91.

However, what Shain started, many are keen to continue.  To mark the day the sculpture of John Seward Johnsons 25 foot tall plastic version of his life-size sculpture, Unconditional Surrender, was placed in Times Square.  Towering over the people of New York, this enormous piece of art showed New Yorkers (and no doubt many a bemused tourist) the way.

There is hardly a worthier excuse to have a damn good kiss that we can think of here at Kuriositas – and it certainly looked as if people got in to the spirit of the thing!  At one point there were thousands of people kissing at the same time in Times Square.

Here is the story by the Associated Press.

Image Credit Flickr User americasroof

Kuriositas would like to thank Flickr Users americasroof and t_a_i_s for their kind permission to use the pictures here.  Please visit their photostreams.