'Kiss-In' couples take over NY's Times Square

Updated: 2015-08-15 04:19


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'Kiss-In' couples take over NY's Times Square

Hundreds of people took part in a "Kiss-In" on Friday at New York City's Times Square. The event was held to re-enact the legendary kiss photograph of a US sailor and nurse taken by photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt on Victory over Japan Day (V-J Day) in Times Square on Aug 14, 1945. Many couples were given white sailor hats and roses for the re-enactment. HEZI JIANG /CHINA DAILY

Couples locking lips took over a large part of New York City's Times Square on Friday as they re-enacted an iconic photograph of a US sailor kissing a woman taken 70 years ago during a celebration in the square marking Victory over Japan Day (V-J Day).

Local residents and tourists from around the globe took part in the "Kiss-In", which is held every five years on Aug 14, the day Japan surrendered in 1945, by the Times Square Alliance. The community development organization gave many of the day's participants white sailor hats and red roses for the re-enactment.

The famous photograph taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt on Aug 14, 1945, shows the sailor kissing a woman in a white dress. A 25-foot-tall sculpture of the photo, created by American artist Seward Johnson and titled Embracing Peace, was returned for this year’s event. It was originally commissioned in 2005 and displayed in Times Square for the 60th anniversary of V-J Day, according to a representative of the artist’s studio.

Some who attended the event didn't know its history.

"Is this from a movie?" Jack Son said, pointing at the statue. "It’s very impressive," said Jiyoun Lee. The two university students from Seoul were visiting the city as part of a student-exchange program. It was the third day since they started dating, and though the two didn't take part in the kissing portion of the event, they held hands and watched from the sidelines.

Others at the event share it as special moment with a loved one.

Shu Chen and her husband were attending the "Kiss-In" for the first time.

"We have been in New York for four years," she told China Daily. "I traveled two hours from Long Island [to get here], and the event has been interesting and memorable."

"We are both shutterbugs," Shu said. "We saw the picture years ago. It’s romantic and it demonstrates the spirit of patriotism. So we wanted to be here to experience the memorable moment."

The official US celebration of V-J Day is on Sept 2, the date of the formal signing of the surrender by Japan. China will mark the 70th anniversary of victory in the Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression on Sept 3.

Contact the writers at jackfreifelder@chinadailyusa.com, hezijiang@chinadailyusa.com and lijing2009@chinadaily.com.cn

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