Posted by: groundsforsculpture | August 20, 2010

Spirit of ’45 Day in Times Square features Seward Johnson sculpture

Courtesy of The Sculpture Foundation

"Unconditional Surrender" in Times Square, August 14, 2010. Photo by Carl Deal III. “Unconditional Surrender” by Seward Johnson © 2004, 2005 The Sculpture Foundation

Hundreds of kisses, and a 26-foot sculpture, marked a historic Times Square spot, in an event that provided the centerpiece of a nation-wide celebration of the Greatest Generation.  Couples of all nationalities, colors, ages, religions and genders collectively commemorated the 65th Anniversary of the end of World War II by re-creating the famous victory kiss between a U.S. sailor and nurse captured forever on the cover of LIFE Magazine.

Photo by Carl Deal III.

The action heated up on Saturday, August 14, at the very spot – the intersection of Broadway and 7th Avenue between 43rd and 44th Streets in New York City, an area known as Military Island – where the patriotic kiss occurred in a celebration to remember the Greatest Generation’s greatest day.

“The Kiss” became the iconic image of August 14, 1945, the day the war ended and peace began, represented America’s determination, fortitude, and optimism for the decades ahead.  This year, on the 65th Anniversary of that historic day, couples from all generations and all corners of the world were invited to find their place in history and pucker up for peace and salute the men and women of the armed forces. “Unconditional Surrender,” a 26-foot SCULPTURE INSPIRED BY THE CELEBRATORY MOMENT IN US HISTORY created by acclaimed artist Seward Johnson, towered above the kissing couples.

Photo by Carl Deal III.

The historical and reflective portion of the event was presented in partnership with Keep the Spirit of ’45 Alive!, a national grassroots campaign championed by the late Edith Shain (the original nurse from the iconic “Kiss” photo).  Last month, these efforts came to fruition when Congress recognized the second Sunday in August as national Spirit of ’45 Day – the first annual day of commemoration honoring the legacy of the World War II generation.  The ceremony featured recognition of the Greatest Generation, live music from the era, reflections on the significance of that historic day, and remembrance of the fallen by children of servicemen who lost their lives in the war.

Among the Crowds. Photo by Carl Deal III. “Unconditional Surrender” by Seward Johnson © 2004, 2005 The Sculpture Foundation

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