Fame by accident; immortality by chance. Either way, Nurse Edith Shain will never be able to take back her spontaneous kiss in Times Square on V-J Day. The moment itself was captured by one of Life’s photographers and the identity of both the sailor and the nurse was left a mystery for years. It became one of the most recognized symbols representing the end of World War Two. In the late 1970s, Edith Shain finally revealed herself as the nurse in the photo, although the identity of the young sailor has never been discovered.
Since then, Ms. Shain had been attending memorial ceremonies across the country, and participated in numerous V-J Day celebrations. She was a kindergarten teacher for 30 years, and worked hard to preserve the stories of the Second World War for younger generations.
Edith Shain passed away on Sunday, June 20th, at the age of 91.
Although she will be missed, her life’s passion and dedication to Second World War veterans will forever grow. Her photograph will remain a symbol of joy and peace –an embrace by two complete strangers, bringing the world together.