Cou­ples gather in New York to re-en­act kiss at war’s end


Cou­ples from across the world have gath­ered in Times Square, New York City Fri­day to mark the 70th an­niver­sary of a fa­mous kiss cel­e­brat­ing the end of World War II.

A 7-me­ter sculp­ture de­pict­ing Al­fred Eisen­staedt’s pho­to­graph of a sailor kiss­ing a white- uni­formed nurse tow­ered over the com­mem­o­ra­tion of the end of the war, when Ja­pan’s sur­ren­der to Al­lied forces was an­nounced.

Ray and El­lie Wil­liams of Ge­or­gia kicked off the re-en­act­ment of the kiss from Aug. 14, 1945.

The Wil­liamses are Navy vet­er­ans. They mar­ried the day af­ter the war ended.

Ray Wil­liams said he and his wife are “deeply hon­ored and priv­i­leged” to rep­re­sent their gen­er­a­tion at the Times Square com­mem­o­ra­tion.

He said he re­mem­bered the ju­bi­la­tion that broke out across the coun­try when Ja­pan’s sur­ren­der to Al­lied forces was an­nounced.

“We were dou­bly ex­cited about cel­e­brat­ing the end of the war and also our mar­riage,” he said.

Roel van Dalen and Beatrijs Smul­ders, visi­tors from Am­s­ter­dam, said they were happy to take part in the com­mem­o­ra­tion.

“It’s very beau­ti­ful to com­mem­o­rate such an in­cred­i­ble event,” van Dalen said. “Es­pe­cially for us. We come from a coun­try which was oc­cu­pied by the Ger­mans ... and we’re still faced with all the hor­ri­fy­ing sto­ries of the war.”

Smul­ders said she was struck by the im­age of the kiss.

“I think it’s re­ally a beau­ti­ful sym­bol of peace and love,” she said. “I love these kinds of rit­u­als.”


(Above) World War II Vet­er­ans Ray and El­lie Wil­liams recre­ate the iconic Al­fred Eisen­staedt pho­to­graph in Times Square in New York City on Fri­day, Aug. 14. (Right) Cou­ples, some dressed as sailors and nurses, em­brace in Times Square in New York, Fri­day.

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