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Submitted by Lindsay Jacques on September 4, 2006 - 04:10.
The War's End Kiss Poster.

On my dorm wall is my favorite poster of all time- The War’s End Kiss. It is a snapshot of VJ Day in 1945 when a sailor grabs a nurse in the street of New York City and kisses her in a passionate embrace that has captured people’s emotions and imaginations for the past sixty years. Here is my version of what truth I like to think is behind the photograph.

December 7, 1941- “A Day that will live in infamy” according to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and America entered World War II. When one young man heard this news, he decided that he needed to fulfill his duty and enter the navy to serve his country. A like-minded young woman became a nurse hoping to help in any way that she could.
Kanye West's "Jesus Walks"

(Lyrics)
“Yo, We at war, We at war with terrorism, racism,
and most of all we at war with ourselves.”
The beat of this song is essentially pounding army drums. And the lyrics combined with the music gives a sense of young men getting ready to march off into battle. There is fear, determination, and drive.

The young nurse (we will call her Jane) witnessed many terrible sights while nursing. Many of her patients died and even though at times she felt alone, there were always other nurses to reach out to for help; they stuck together. The young sailor (we will call him Jack) lost his best friend in battle. He held that friend's head as he watched the light go out of his eyes. However, fellow sailors were around in this darkest hour to help him through his grief.
Simon & Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water"

(Lyrics)
“When you’re weary, feeling small,
When tears are in your eyes, I will dry them all;
I’m on your side. when times get rough, And friends just cant be found”

August 15, 1945- The Japanese surrendered and World War II was over. Jane was so releaved when she heard the news on a radio in the back of the hospital. She just couldn't wait to get home. Jack went to a bar in New York City to have a drink with his buddies.
U2's "Beautiful Day"

(Lyrics)
“It's a beautiful day, Sky falls, you feel like,
It's a beautiful day, Don't let it get away”

Jane decided she needed to get on a train and go celebrate the good news in the streets of New York City. She was more excited than she could ever remember, because she was about to join the biggest widespread celebration of her life.
The Pointer Sisters' "I'm so excited"

(Lyrics)

Rhonda Stisi's "Dancin' in the Street"
(Lyrics)
“Oh, it doesn't matter what you wear
Just as long as you are there
So come on, every guy grab a girl
Everywhere around the world
There'll be dancin'
They're dancin' in the street”

Then all of a sudden Jack saw this gorgeous young nurse in the street dancing away. And that nurse was Jane. He couldn't resist and he decided...
Cake's "The Distance"

(Lyrics)
“He's going the distance
He's going for speed
She's all alone, all alone, all alone in a time of need
Because he's racing and pacing and plotting the course
He's fighting and biting and riding on his horse
He's going the distance”

And then they kissed! Both of them couldn't believe what was happening but knew that it was amazing.
Kelly Clarkson's "A Moment Like this"

(Lyrics)
“A moment like this
Some people wait a lifetime,
For a moment like this
Some people search forever,
For that one special kiss
Oh, I can't believe it's happening to me
Some people wait a lifetime,
For a moment like this”

It was hard for Jane to believe that after all this time being alone she surprisingly found somebody to share such a special moment with. Jack didn't want to admit it but he was starting to feel like he might believe in "love at first sight" for the first time in his life. This nurse was more than he had ever hoped for.
Randy Newman's "Feels Like Home"

(Lyrics)
"Well, if you knew how much this moment means to me
And how long I've waited for your touch
And if you knew how happy you are making me
I never thought that I'd love anyone so much
It feels like home to me”

And all of this would only take place in one of the greatest cities in America- New York. I had to close with this song from the 1940s performed not only by Tony Bennett but Frank Sinatra as well. It captures the spirit of New York as well as the personality of the time period.
Tony Bennett's "New York, New York"

(Lyrics)
“Start spreadin’ the news, I’m leavin’ today
I want to be a part of it, New York, New York
These vagabond shoes are longing to stray
Right through the very heart of it, New York, New York”

I hope you enjoyed my version of the story behind my favorite poster- The War’s End Kiss: New York City 1945. It truly brings proof to the idiom that a picture is worth 1,000 words (if not more).

» Lindsay Jacques's blog | login to post comments

the photo

I really like the way you have launched the playlist with the photo. A great idea. I also like the song choices. I wonder if there is a bit of drift in the way you describe the events. Some of the descriptions sound more essay-like--"war is never a happy time," while some sound more story-like--"a strapping male sailor sees a gorgeous nurse...." I prefer the more story like and think it might be worth editing it a bit to even expand these descriptive parts. Why not push it even more?

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Your playlist starts with

Your playlist starts with songs that represent the events that took place before the picture and end at the moment the picture took place. What about a song that represents what you think took place after the photo was taken? The sequence of your songs works really well and do a good job at bringing ths picture to life. I really liked that you linked the full lyrics of each song a long with an audio sample to give the reader full opportuity to preview the entire song. The lyrics you deiced to include in the playlist were appropriate choices for each song's purpose. Your descriptions were blunt and to the point. This works because in war there is no way to avoid the truth and that is what you provided with each song choice, it's true meaning through the picture. This was a great idea and you developed it very nicely. Good job!!

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