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Nurse From Iconic Times Square Kiss Picture Revisits NYC

A 90-year-old woman who claims to be the young nurse in the iconic "Kissing the War Goodbye" photo from WWII fell into the arms of another charming young Navy man this weekend.

Edith Shain, who lives in Los Angeles, posed for photos in her token nurse's uniform and tights — just like the outfit she wore in 1945 — before going to see a revival of South Pacific. She will serve as grand marshal of NYC's Veterans Day parade today and ride a float with a group of veterans.

On Aug. 15, 1945 Shain joined thousands of people celebrating in Times Square after Japan surrendered. She says a sailor suddenly grabbed and kissed her — the precise moment a Life magazine photographer caught it on film. The photographer didn't get the name of the kissing couple so years later Life went on a quest to find them and ended up with a bunch of claimants. At least three veterans say they are the strong sailor, and at least one other woman has claimed to be the nurse. But Shain remains convinced she is the gal. To see what she says of the day and photo,


"I went from Doctors Hospital to Times Square that day because the war was over, and where else does a New Yorker go? 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. As for the picture, 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."

Check out the photo of Shain reliving the moment this weekend. Do you believe it's her?

Join The Conversation
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 8 years
Oh smileys...why do you fail me when I really need you? Free :hug: for the veterans!
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 8 years
I love this photo as well. And how lucky was the photographer to capture such an historic moment! I love the looks on the peoples faces in the background too. And free :hugs: for the veterans today!
dreamsugar dreamsugar 8 years
The fact that it's two random people makes me smile!! I love that photo!!
heartbreakerx62x heartbreakerx62x 8 years
How romantic!
zeze zeze 8 years
Exactly Jillness! It's like it is too perfect to be real, like someone put it together and positioned them and those around them to look exactly like that but made it look natural. I love this photo, I really want to buy a high quality poster print...I don't know where to put it, but I'll find a place.
bellaressa bellaressa 8 years
I saw the nurse on the news last night. Such a spitfire, I love this photo.
Jillness Jillness 8 years
I love the the angle of her body, and the intensity that he is kissing her. The darkness of his uniform against the white purity of hers. It is a very beautiful photograph.
sundaygreen sundaygreen 8 years
"A nurse at a New York hospital at the time, she had joined the euphoric throng that spilled into the streets as news that the war had ended crackled over the radio. Mr McDuffie, who was 18 years old and stationed in Brooklyn, claims that he had just emerged from a subway station on Times Square and had not heard the news. "This lady said, 'Sailor, I'm so happy for you' and I said 'For what?'" he recalled. "She said 'The war's over and you can go home.'?.well, I ran out in the street jumping and hollering. The lady turned around and held out her arms to me and I took her and kissed her." He added: "I know Edith Shain was the woman I kissed because she had the biggest mouth of anybody I've ever kissed in my life ? it went from ear to ear. I'll never forget it."
starangel82 starangel82 8 years
I just love that you can make the story behind this picture be whatever you want it to be. I mean, the real story is great... 'he grabbed me, we kissed, and there was a picture'. But your imagination can run wild with this great photo! I read another interview with the lady in the picture... when asked why she let him kiss her, she said that he had served and would have given his life for her and his country so she didn't mind letting him kiss her. Too great.
Marni7 Marni7 8 years
I have always loved this picture! so great
kikidawn kikidawn 8 years
That is a very iconic picture :) I always thought it was a wife greeting her homecoming sailor. I never knew that it was just two random people! :)
Zeinobia Zeinobia 8 years
I got this photo in the Life goes to war special book about the WWII, you can't forget it easily among all the photos from that book
Vaadsfweytes Vaadsfweytes 8 years
That picture is so sweet. I really wonder if she's really 'the girl'.
foxie foxie 8 years
Love, love, love that picture. My husband is obsessed with it and really wants to get pictures done of us in that pose. I miss my sailor!
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