The sailor (George Mendosa) and nurse (Greta Zimmer Friedman) depicted in this iconic photo snapped moments after the announcement that World War II had ended turned out to be complete strangers, and apparently Greta Friedman, the nurse, wasn’t kissing back:

Mendosa: “It was the moment. You come back from the Pacific, and finally, the war ends,’ Mendonsa told CBS. ‘The excitement of the war being over, plus I had a few drinks. So when I saw the nurse, I grabbed her, and I kissed her.”

Friedman: “I did not see him approaching, and before I know it, I was in this vice grip. That man was very strong. I wasn’t kissing him. He was kissing me.”

Crates and Ribbons notes how recent interviews with the “couple” fail to acknowledge Mendosa’s behavior as sexual assault. A lively discussion in comments about gender, violence, war, and political memory. Enjoy.

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