I was in the Merchant Marines, and my ship had just returned from London. On August 14, 1945, I was in New York heading into Times Square, where there was a Pepsi-Cola canteen: Hot dogs were a nickel, and Pepsis were free.
That’s where I was going when I saw this sailor grab a nurse and kiss her.
Of course, I’d seen that more than once on the square. But in front of the couple were two photographers snapping away.
Just as that was happening, it came around on the news ticker on the side of a building: “The war is over! The war is over!”
I never gave that scene a second thought until a couple of years later, when the photo became famous. Then I took another look and said, “Hey, that’s me!” You can see my legs right behind them!
Alfred Eisenstaedt/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images