Edith Shian says that she was racing through Time Square with a group of fellow WWII nurses because she had heard that the war had ended on 14 August 1945 when she was grabbed by a sailor who had heard the same and was kissed.
Later, the world would remember it as an iconic photograph by Alfred Eisenstaedt, one that I have seen all over, especially being a sailor myself.
There have been times that I have taken issue w/ the idea of this photograph, of being randomly grabbed and kissed and the idea that a person might just disregard my autonomy in a moment of personal passion, and that this person’s moment would be splattered all over the world; but this woman, who claims that it was her, remembers it as a marvelous feeling, and who am I to rob her of that? Alfred Eisenstaedt has given me mixed feelings over the years, but at the same time, his photograph has symbolized ideas of cheer and hope of the ending of a war that devastated many nations (some we regularly acknowledge and many the world seems to routinely forget about).
But this post is about the passing of Edith Shain, the woman who says she is that nurse, the woman in the Eisenstaedt photograph, even though Eisenstaedt himself never named the subjects of that photograph (and I wonder if there were reasons for that…).
May she rest in peace, because her image reminds me of many things, my former career, the one I presently support, the autonomy that I fight for for so many, the countries torn apart and devastated by the war of which this photograph is the very symbol of ending.
May she have peace in whatever hereafter she found peace in believing.
Photo Credit: e-strategyblog.com on Flickr