”Thank God the war is over.”

Hello darlings!

”Happy humans-utterly unable to check their emotions-laughed even while great tears rolled down their cheeks.” (Seattle Post Intelligencer)

I decided to make this post yesterday after i received an amazing early present from a great friend of mine. 

The present

Who doesn’t recognize this so famous photo of a sailor kissing a nurse? However, a few seem to truly know the whole story behind this photo and i realized it today when i received a comment about this being a non-consensual physical assault, under my post on Instagram about the gift. That’s why i deleted the post to make my research.

The comment

So first of all let’s see what physical assault is. According to a sexual assault crisis center ”if someone has kissed you, fondled you, had sex with you without your consent, it is sexual assault. No sign of physical injury or abuse is required to charge someone with sexual assault.”.

But was this really a sexual assault? Let’s find out!

Let’s go back to 1945 during V-J day (Victory over Japan) in Times Square (i’m not going to talk about San Francisco events here). That day Japan surrendered (World War II), ending the war. At that point, a huge crowd was gathered at New York’s Time Square to celebrate. Boys and girls (strangers) were kissing and it was definitely the best day of their lives.

See 0:52-1:00. Girls don’t look that sad about a handsome sailor kissing them, do they?


Greta Zimmer Friedman was the famous nurse of our so popular photo. As she said, she got out of her office by the time the war was over to have a break.

Greta Zimmer Friedman in Times Square, NY
Greta Zimmer Friedman

She was standing in the street and she was suddenly grabbed by a sailor that happened to kiss her! The kiss lasted around ten seconds (a lot of seconds to push someone away or even slap them if you don’t want them to kiss you huh?) and as the sailor of the photo said, who is most likely George Mendonsa (there is a lot of controversy over the identity of the sailor) he was a little drunk because of the celebrations. So at that time, Alfred Eisenstaedt, the photographer of the photo, captured the moment!

Greta said ”that man was very strong. I wasn’t kissing him. He was kissing me.” Someone who still thinks it was a physical assault will say that he was strong and she couldn’t do anything about it. But after the kiss, George just walked away and Greta moved back to her office. When you feel like you have been physically assaulted, no matter the era, you don’t just walk back to your work without saying anything to anyone.

George Mendonsa who famously kissed Greta Zimmer Friedman in Times Square, NY
George Mendonsa

Or without even slapping that guy afterwards. Instead, she continued saying ”It wasn’t a romantic event. It was an event of ‘thank God the war is over’. It was a wonderful coincidence, a man in a sailor’s uniform and a woman in a white dress and a great photographer at the right time. The reason he grabbed somebody dressed like a nurse, was that he felt so very grateful to the nurses who took care of the wounded.” ❤️

This clearly shows how Greta used to see this event. She could understand how happy everyone was and it was all out of excitement! She thought it was a wonderful coincidence.

If you ask me, no i wouldn’t like a stranger kissing me. But it’s all about the circumstances. Do you realize how excited someone must be when they are told that the war is finally over? Let’s just not take every situation as it’s the same. No, it’s not the same.

Nowadays, if a stranger guy kisses a lady like that all of a sudden in the center of Athens let’s say, i myself will help that lady. Imagine grabbing and kissing someone you don’t know in 2018 without any reason. That is a physical assault. Now, imagine grabbing and kissing someone you don’t know in 1945 after you’ve been told that the war is over and everyone around you is celebrating and kissing each other. It might be a physical assault in a way because they were two strangers, but not as it would be in the first situation. You cannot compare two non similar stories. Plus, Greta didn’t seem to see it in a negative way either. But guys, before telling your opinion about such a controversial subject, make sure to have made a full research about it and have seen what the people who took place in the event believe.

In conclusion and in my perspective, this photo is a symbol of free love and joy after a terrifying and awful condition (war).

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για sailor kissing nurse

”It is a luminous moment of spontaneous, collective free love.” historian Marshall Berman


Just for the record, Greta Friedman died at the age of 92 in 2016.

I know that after this post many people might feel like i’m taking the side of men and i’m not supporting women’s rights and all those stuff. But in the world we are living nowadays, whatever you say is wrong and whatever you believe, if it doesn’t suit with the modern ways, is inappropriate. Guess what? I’m not afraid to write down my opinion and i’ve learned to make full researches before i say anything.

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για sailor kissing nurse

No, i’m not against women’s rights (man, i’m a woman too!) but i’m pretty sure ladies who are into the modern feminism community will not have the same opinion. I can’t go with the flow if i don’t agree with something though. We are free to express our thoughts and we shouldn’t be afraid of doing so. There will always ve people with different opinions anyways and they are all acceptable! ❤️

Thank you so much for reading lovelies! I’ll see you all on my next post!

A Vintage Athenian💋



Callahan, M., 2012. New York Post. [Online]
Available at: https://nypost.com/2012/06/17/the-true-story-behind-the-iconic-v-j-day-sailor-and-nurse-smooch/
[Accessed 5 4 2018].

Carlson, P., 2010. The Happiest Day in American History. American History, 50-57 August, Volume 45(3).

Chatham-Kent Sexual Assault Crisis Centre, n.d. Chatham-Kent Sexual Assault Crisis Centre. [Online]
Available at: https://cksacc.org/about-sexual-assault/how-do-i-know-if-i-have-been-sexually-assaulted/
[Accessed 5 4 2018].

Guardian, T., 2016. The Guardian. [Online]
Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/sep/11/woman-kissed-by-sailor-in-famous-v-j-day-photo-dies-aged-92
[Accessed 5 4 2018].

Jackson, A., 2016. CNN. [Online]
Available at: https://edition.cnn.com/2016/09/10/us/greta-friedman-iconic-kissing-vj-day-photo-obit-irpt/index.html
[Accessed 5 4 2018].

Mahita, G., 2016. TIME. [Online]
Available at: http://time.com/4486812/wwii-kiss-photo-vj-day/
[Accessed 5 4 2018].

Rossington, B., 2016. Mirror. [Online]
Available at: https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/fantastic-story-behind-iconic-image-8812998
[Accessed 5 4 2018].





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s