Iconic "Kissing Sailor" honored at Attleboro Memorial Day Celebr - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Iconic "Kissing Sailor" honored at Attleboro Memorial Day Celebrations

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Nicole Gerber
ngerber@abc6.com
@nicolegerber

ATTLEBORO - He's been famous since August 14th, 1945, when the iconic photo captured the feeling in New York's Times Square the moment World War II was declared over.

Today, Middleboro native George Mendonsa hasn't lost any of the charm that landed him in that lip–lock.

The man who says he is the "Kissing Sailor" was honored as grand marshal during Attleboro's Memorial Day celebration.

In front of a crowd Mendonsa described the harsh battles he endured during the war, and why he has such a soft spot in his heart for nurses.

"We were putting the wounded on the hospital ship and a lot of them guys were hurting, I mean hurting really bad, and I saw those nurses go right to work on these guys," Mendonsa said.

Not 5 months after that moment... Mendonsa found himself in Times Square outside Radio City Music Hall when he heard the news: the war was over.

"We hit the bars, I'm poppin' the booze, so I saw the nurse and still in the back of my head was what those nurses did, so I grabbed the nurse! A lot of people think I was being a smug guy, no, that came from here," he said with a tap on his heart.

Though there's still some debate as to who the Kissing Sailor really was... Mendonsa says he's got evidence to prove he's the one: a tattoo on his arm, the shape of his hands, and one other person identified in the photo - his date for the evening, who oddly enough, wasn't the nurse he was caught kissing!

"My date shows in the photo, and she's been my wife for 68 years!" he said.

(c) WLNE-TV 2014

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