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World War II Kissing Couples

Times Square banner made of over 3000 tiles of 836 World War II couples.

Sam, a few decades my senior, was a personal friend. Sam was (and is) admired by hundreds and hundreds of people who knew him through his work in journalism at Oregon State University, his neighbors within the city of Corvallis, Oregon, and among those who were in his church community.

In the years I knew Sam he walked very slowly and with a painful limp, and it was my privilege for a period of time to pick him up each Sunday morning, drive him to church, and then slowly walk in with him so he made it safely to his pew. Sam was blind for the last several years of his life, but throughout that time he saw life more brightly and clearly than most I know.

Doris is Sam’s widow. Doris, the quintessentially cute grandmother and great-grandmother (I see her blushing as she reads that), is deeply into her eighties yet swims several miles each week, reads her Church magazine in French, practices the organ (when absolutely no one is around to hear her), and plays tennis on her Wii.

Sam served in the Army during World War II. He and Doris met before the war, but were married during one of Sam’s leaves. After their marriage, they travelled by train to Boston where Sam left for England and ultimately France, arriving there seventeen days after D-Day.

Sam and Doris are like so many we know. One or both of them served in World War II, either on the war front or the home front, and were married just before, during, or shortly after the war. They were young, impossibly courageous, and hopelessly in love. To quote Doris, “We thought we could lick the world together.”

August 14, was V-J Day. The Spirit of ’45 (www.spiritof45.org), an organization dedicated to honoring the spirit of those who worked and fought to win World War II, along with Hewlett-Packard, Ancestry.com, and our own Fold3, put together an eight-foot by twelve-foot banner honoring all those couples who sacrificed so much.

Couples like Sam and Doris.

Take a look at the information about the banner on Fold3.com (Times Square Kiss) and then click the link to view the full image and marvel at these young couples.

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