Two weeks ago, on a Sunday, George Mendonsa died. He was 95.
This may not mean much to you, it certainly didn’t to me. I had no idea who the guy was, but…
I’d seen his picture. We’ve all seen his picture. This picture…
1945, Times Square, New York.
People poured into the streets to celebrate the end of WWII and a kiss was caught on camera. That image has become a romantic icon.
The moment captured though, according to the two people involved, wasn’t romantic at all.
George Mendonsa and Greta Zimmer Friedman weren’t a couple, they didn’t even know each other.
George, who’d served on a destroyer during the war, saw a woman in a nurse’s uniform and wanted to say thank you to all the nurses who’d cared for the wounded sailors on the hospital ship.
Greta, who passed away in 2016 at 92, remembered not having much choice in the matter. A stranger 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.