Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Kiss a Vet or Let a Vet Kiss YOU!

That's what happened to Edith Shain when she was a young Navy nurse many, many years ago. She was stationed in New York City on Aug. 15, 1945 when it was announced that Japan had surrendered and the war was over.

Like everyone else she rushed to Times Square to join the celebration and was grabbed by a handsome young sailor who 'planted one on her'. This image was captured by a photographer from LIFE magazine on that day and has become an iconic picture of that era.

Edith, who currently lives in Los Angeles, is now 90 years old. "I went from Doctors Hospital to Times Square that day because the war was over, and where else does a New Yorker go?" she said. "And this guy grabbed me and we kissed, and then I turned one way and he turned the other. There was no way to know who he was, but I didn't mind because he was someone who had fought for me."

This year Edith will be Grand Marshal of New York's Veteran's Day Parade in Times Square. In honor of the observance, she was treated to a reprise of the old Broadway musical South Pacific. At the end of the show, the "sailors" in the cast brought Edith onstage and recreated that famous kiss.

"As for the picture," she says, "it says so many things — hope, love, peace and tomorrow. The end of the war was a wonderful experience, and that photo represents all those feelings."

American flags are flying everywhere today in honor of our veterans and we should remember their sacrifices. With a war on two fronts we must look forward to caring for our soldiers when they eventually come home.

There's been a lot of controversy over the past few years about our current wars but whether you agree with our policies or not, we own these brave people respect, health care and college educations if they should choose. They've done their duties and gone where they were sent. We must honor them AND their families, who also sacrifice so much.


Anonymous said...

And I would be downtown, at the parade, kilt, medals and flag, if I didn't have to WORK today.

As a Desert Storm Vet and 8 year member of the U.S. Coast Guard, I thank you Regina, for remembering.

Regina Carlysle said...

And I THANK YOU, Dr. Karl, for your service.

Anne Rainey said...

Edith absolutely took the words right out of my mouth! Thanks for posting this, Regina! And for all the vets who've served (my brother included) thank you! :)

Unknown said...

thanks for the info.
I think that is awesome

Kelley Nyrae said...

Thanks for posting this Regina. I love those pictures! A big thank you to everyone who serves our country.

Regina Carlysle said...

Isn't it cool to think of her serving as a nurse in WWII and being honored this way? I just heard something on tv. WWI has one single veteran still living. He's 109 yrs. old...a former DOUGHBOY.

Amy Ruttan said...

My great grandfather served in WWI, he survived Vimy Ridge in which many, many Canadians were killed.

My grandfather has his helmet where a bullet grazed the top. I also have this home movie from the 80's when I was about 8 and my Great Grandfather was featured on the Toronto News, and they interviewed him. He's no longer with us, but I show my kids what their great great grandfather endured to keep us free.

In WWII my father's brother fought in Germany as a sharpshooter. My Dad wasn't born until 1946, after the war. LOL. There was an age gap.

Genella deGrey said...

Bless you, Dr. Karl - They should have at least given you a half-day off!

Thank you for service to our great nation!


Deb said...

Reg. Thanks for posting about this special day.
I love listening to my papa's stories.
It was a very emotional time for all.

Regina Carlysle said...

I recalled today that two of my uncles were in WWII. I never met either of them. They were the older brothers of my mom. One was a cook in Patton's Army and hid under the bodies of his dead friends to keep from being bayonnetted by the Germans. His younger brother also served and one night they accidentally ended up in the same foxhole during a battle. My uncle who was the solder/cook came home from the war and wasn't the same. We now know he had PTSD. One morning he just packed up and left and no one ever heard from him again. Very sad.