On the 65th anniversary of the V-J Day celebration this week, couples will gather in New York City's Times Square to kiss and commemorate the veterans. The tradition began with the
infamous Life magazine image of a sailor laying one on a nurse in the crowded central Manhattan streets. Decades after the image was published, when she no longer worried about being "dignified," a then-60-year-old Edith Shain wrote to the image's photographer, Alfred Eisenstaedt, that she was the nurse in that iconic photograph. In 2005, on the 60th anniversary of Japan's surrender, the Times Square Alliance honored Shain. "The happiness was indescribable," Shain told The New York Times of the original celebration. "It was a very
long kiss." Sadly, Shain passed away in June at the age of 91, but the lip-locking will go on in her honor. This Saturday, hundreds of other couples will gather on Military Island—the intersection of Broadway and 7th Avenue between 43rd and 44th Streets in New York—to recreate the public display of affection, celebrate Shain and the soldiers, and make their own memories, sealed with kisses.
The annual Times Square Kiss-In begins in New York on Saturday, August 14 at 11 a.m. EST.