Unconditional Surrender sculpture by Seward Johnson stands 25 feet tall and weighs 6,000 pounds commerates a famous Life Magazine photo taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt on Augst 14th, 1945, VJ Day in Time Square, New York City. The Sailor and The Nurse didn't know each other. There's been speculation about whom they were after the fact. Names weren't obtain when the photo was taken on that exciting day. This sculpture stands along the walk way in San Diego harbor, near The Midway Museum.
There were a variety of women who came forward through the years claiming to be this nurse, sailors too came forward to say it was them. The case was fairly well proven for Edith Shain as the nurse, though less luck in determining whom the sailor was. Edith died June 20th, 2010; but was present for the dedication of the sculpture in February of 2007. Though Alfred Eisenstaedt was credited with the famous photo that appeared on the cover of Life Magazine, it was not the only similar photo taken. One with a bit more of a street scene was taken at the same moment by Navy Photographer, Victor Jorgensen; it was Elfred's photo that got all the attention.
Life Magazine feels their toes have been stepped on regarding this sculpture. They indicate they hold the copyright, and that the artist, J. Seward Johnson didn't have permission to use the likeness in his sculpture.
There's also speculation about the picture, as to whether or not it occurred before or after the actual announcement of surrender from Japan. Even those researchers who feel it likely happened before, say the crowds had started to gather, to speculate that the announcement was forthcoming.
The walk along the water front is very enjoyable with lots to see, even on a cool, windy, and rainy day...such as the day we were there. We did manage to see some sights between the rain drops. I highly encourage visiting this site and many others in the area.
Please keep our service men and women in your thoughts as you give Thanks on this special day of Thanksgiving.