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Couples in Times Square re-enact kiss at end of World War II

Married couple Kenji and Kristen Kawasaki (far left) joined others as they re-enacted the iconic 1945 Alfred Eisenstaedt kiss photo in Times Square.Bebeto Matthews/AP

NEW YORK (AP) — Dozens of couples gathered in New York’s Times Square to re-enact a famous kiss that celebrated the end of World War II.

A 25-foot sculpture depicting Alfred Eisenstaedt’s photograph of a sailor kissing a white-uniformed nurse towered over Friday’s commemoration.

Ray and Ellie Williams of Blairsville, Georgia kicked off the re-enactment of the kiss from Aug. 14, 1945. The day known as V-J Day was exactly 70 years ago.

The Williamses are both Navy veterans. They married the day after V-J Day.

Ray Williams said he and his wife were ‘‘deeply honored and privileged’’ to represent the greatest generation at the Times Square commemoration.

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He said he remembered the jubilation that broke out all over the country on V-J Day, when Japan’s surrender to Allied forces was announced.

Couples, some dressed as sailors and nurses, embraced in Times Square.DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images
A US Navy sailor kissed a nurse in Times Square in an impromptu moment at the close of World War II after the surrender of Japan was announced.REUTERS