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'WWII photo nurse' leads parade

The Kiss in Times Square by Alfred Eisenstaedt (photo: Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images)
The photograph was taken on Broadway and 45th Street in New York

A 90-year-old who says she is the nurse being kissed in Times Square in one of World War II's most famous photos is to lead the New York Veterans Day Parade.

Edith Shain, from Los Angeles, will return to the scene of the kiss at the head of a group of WWII veterans.

The photo of an American sailor kissing a nurse in 1945 as people marked the surrender of Japan and the end of World War II became an iconic image.

Over the years, several people have claimed to be depicted in the picture.

Ms Shain said it was thrilling to be back in New York and "see the street where we had been when World War II was over, when that marvellous feeling was flooding the nation".

She added: "The end of the war was a wonderful experience, and that photo represents all those feelings."

'I didn't mind'

Recalling the famous kiss, she said she could not identify the man.

Edith Shain with the cast of the musical South Pacific (9 Nov 2008)

"I went from hospital to Times Square that day because the war was over, and where else does a New Yorker go?

"And this guy grabbed me and we kissed, and then I turned one way and he turned the other. There was no way to know who he was, but I didn't mind because he was someone who had fought for me."

Twenty years later, when Life Magazine ran an appeal to find out who the photograph's subjects were, Ms Shain wrote a letter identifying herself as the woman in the nurse's uniform.

However, magazine photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt, who died in 1995, said he was never sure who the woman in the picture was.

Bobbi Baker Burrows, an editor at Life, explained: "We received claims from a few nurses and dozens of sailors, but we could never prove that any of them were the actual people, and Eisenstaedt himself just said he didn't know."

However Ms Shain, who left nursing to become a nursery teacher for 30 years, remains a popular choice.

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