Nurse Dies Kissed by a Sailor

Greta Zimmer Friedman , who was the woman kissed by a sailor in an iconic picture taken in New York's Times Square at the end of World War II in 1945, died yesterday ( 2016.09.10) As Joshua Friedman, her son, said Greta was 92 years when she died of pneumonia at an assisted living home in Virginia. 

The photo that made her famous happened by accident, when she was just 21. On the morning of August 14, 1945 she reported to work as a dental assistant in New York City. She had heard rumors the Japanese had surrendered shortly after the United States had dropped atomic bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

As she entered Times Square, Ms Friedman was grabbed and kissed by George Mendonsa, a sailor on leave and overjoyed by the war's end.

Unbeknownst to either, noted Life magazine photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt captured the moment, and published it a few weeks later.

Both Ms Friedman and Mr Mendonsa would go decades without knowing about the image, "V-J Day in Times Square".

Mr Mendonsa born in Austria in 1924, she traveled to America in 1938 with two younger sisters, fleeing Hitler and the Nazis. Her parents intended to follow, but never made it.In 1956, she married a doctor, Mischa Friedman, and moved to Maryland, where she raised a son Joshua and a daughter Mara.

Ms Friedman first saw Eisenstaedt's photograph in a book in the 1960s and although she contacted Life the magazine was not interested.

In 1980, Life put out an issue asking for the sailor and nurse to come forward, and flooded with dozens of claims declined to name one as definitive.

Joshua Friedman told The News that his mother was sympathetic to that view, but held no ill will against Mendonsa.

In fact, the two became friendly, even exchanging Christmas cards, after meeting in the 1980s. Mendonsa is still alive at 93, a retired fisherman residing in Rhode Island.

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