Two weeks ago, on a Sunday, George Mendonsa died. He was 95 years old.
George who? Yeah, I didn’t know who he was either, but…
I’ve seen his picture. We’ve all seen his picture. This picture…
This image, captured as people poured into the streets to celebrate the end of WWII, has become a romantic icon. Lovers reunited.
The reality behind the image?
George Mendonsa and Greta Zimmer Friedman weren’t lovers. They weren’t friends. They’d never met, never even seen each other before. Complete strangers.
George saw a woman in a nurse’s uniform and wanted to say thank you to all the nurses who’d cared for wounded sailors on hospital ships.
Greta, who passed away in 2016 at 92, remembers that she didn’t have much choice in the matter. This stranger just grabbed her, kissed her in celebration. In her own words, “It wasn’t a romantic event.”
But, the camera didn’t know that.
Here’s the thing about cameras, they see everything, and interpret nothing.
That’s our job.