Public Kiss-In Aboard Submarine to Mark WW II Victory

CLEVELAND - U.S.S. COD Submarine Memorial will mark the 65th anniversary of the end of World War II on Sunday, August 15 at 2 p.m. with a kiss -- lots of kisses in fact. The crew of the veteran WW II sub docked on Cleveland's North Coast Harbor is inviting the public to come aboard that day and reenact the famous kiss between a sailor and a nurse celebrating the end of the war and immortalized on the cover of LIFE Magazine.

The event aboard COD is part of a national campaign to recognize and honor WW II veterans for their accomplishments in bringing peace to the world after a long and bloody war. COD is the only historic site sponsoring a mass kiss-in to honor vets, according to Dr. John Fakan, COD memorial president.

The V-J Day anniversary party at the COD Memorial will include period reenactors, Big Band music, jitterbug dance demonstrations, and as the climax -- a mass restaging of the famous Times Square kiss.

"We want everyone to bring their special someone down to the COD on Aug. 15 and honor the achievement of our veterans with a kiss. We'll even have nurse caps and sailor hats available for our kiss-in participants," Fakan added.

The anniversary festivities aboard USS COD will also include prizes for the best jitterbug dancers as well as a prize for the best impersonators of the sailor and nurse. "We don't plan on judging the kissing," Fakan remarked. "We'll leave that up to the couples."

Edith Shain, the nurse being kissed in the historic photo, planned to be in Times Square for the anniversary of the famous buss, but she died of cancer on June 20 in her home in Los Angeles, CA. She was 91 years old.

Although nobody disputes the identity of nurse Edith Shain in the photograph, many sailors have claimed to be the dipping kisser in the photo. Lois Gibson, a forensic artist with the Houston Police Department recently took up the challenge and identified the sailor as 83-year-old Glenn McDuffie of Texas. The Navy veteran has fought for years to prove his claim and is now battling lung cancer.