More Revealed About The Nurse In This Iconic Photo After Her Death

World War II, war, kiss, VDAY

Women in America's most famed lip-lock passes away

The Short of It:

Greta Friedman, whose kiss with an American sailor is probably the most iconic in American history, passed away at the age of 92 yesterday.

The Longer Version of It:

You've seen the photo. It's the one where an American sailor smooches a nurse in the middle of New York's Time Square on V-J Day. The black-and-white photo shows a young Friedman in her white nurse's uniform being embraced by a sailor, George Mendosa, just after reports of Japan's surrender to fighting in World War II brought a conclusion to World War II. It was taken by well known photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt and published in Life magazine just weeks later. It's undoubtedly one of the most iconic of photos in American history. According to CNN the nurse in the photo, Greta Friedman passed away yesterday after having fallen ill in the past couple of years.

For many it was a charming photo that has stirred a sense of nostalgia for a time they didn't know, while for others including Friedman it's a classic look into a women's everyday. Specifically for that time. According to Friedman's son, Joshua Friedman, his mother saw the moment as a snapshot of a problematic culture ― specifically because it shows a woman being grabbed by a random stranger and forced into a nonconsensual kiss. In an interview with The Veterans History Project from the Library of Congress Friedman described the kiss, “It wasn’t my choice to be kissed,” she said at the time of the interview. “The guy just came over and grabbed!”

Friedman's son did note that his mother didn't take issue with Mendonsa's handling of the news. "My mom always had an appreciation for a feminist viewpoint, and understood the premise that you don't have a right to be intimate with a stranger on the street. (But) she didn't assign any bad motives to George in that circumstance, that situation, that time"