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.