Md. woman Greta Friedman recalls the 'kiss that ended WWII - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Md. woman Greta Friedman recalls the 'kiss that ended World War II'

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You might not recognize Greta Friedman on one of her many strolls around Frederick, Md., but odds are you have seen her before.

She was a young dental assistant in New York City. On her lunch break on August 14, 1945, she set out to check on the rumors that World War II was ending. 

"Where do you go to find out what the latest news is? You go to Times Square because of the electrical sign that was on the building," said Friedman.

The place was packed. Then she walked back to the office. 

"This sailor grabbed me and I don't know how many seconds he held onto me, but the photographer, he just made the best of his opportunity," Friedman said.

That photographer was Alfred Eisenstaedt. People watched as he took the photo. Millions more eyes would see it on the pages of LIFE magazine. 

For years, another woman claimed she was the one in the photo. A new book called "The Kissing Sailor" provides irrefutable proof that it was Friedman in the picture. 

Friedman said she never had any doubt it was her in the photo.

The man in the photo has been identified as George Mendonsa. 

"He's a married man," Friedman said.

Friedman moved to Frederick about 40 years ago for her husband's job. After her kids left home, she went back to school and got a degree in art at Hood College. She says she has had a pretty nice life in Maryland. 

She says her friends and neighbors have known about the photo for years, but she doesn't talk about it much. 

When asked if seems like a long time ago, she responded, "No, it moves. Time moves so fast."

Was he a good kisser? 

"I don't want to comment on the quality," said Friedman. "I didn't have that much experience at that time."

67 years later, she knows a lot more. But the power of the picture remains.


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