TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – If you’ve been alive in the last century, you probably know about “V-J Day in Times Square.”
The iconic picture, known as the “Kissing Sailor” photo, portrays a U.S. Navy sailor grabbing and kissing a stranger in a white dress.
The photo was taken on Victory over Japan Day, just hours after it was announced that Japan had surrendered and World War II was finally over.
The sailor in the photo was on a date in Times Square and decided to celebrate by kissing the closest nurse, a stranger who was not his date.
Navy soldier Bryan Woodington, 33, had been stationed in the Persian Gulf and Europe for seven months this year. When he returned home for the holidays, he and his husband Kenneth, 30, decided to recreate the iconic photo, News 4 Jax reports.
“I was excited and I could not wait for it to happen,” Bryan told the local affiliate. “I knew I was going to dip him.”
When Kenneth saw his husband disembark the ship, he said he “lost all control…just dropped everything and…ran.”
But the happy moment quickly soured after the news station aired footage of the kiss.
“How sad that your station has dropped to such a low as to show a gay couple kissing on your newscast,” an angry caller told the news station.
Another sent an e-mail saying they’d “never watch your news again!!!! So long, News4Jax.”
“Thought this was a ‘family friendly’ news channel,” wrote another.
But the reunited couple is brushing off the negative comments: “It didn’t really bother me,” Kenneth told WJXT. “Honestly, I’m the type of person who doesn’t really care that much about what people say.”
“My grandmother always said, ‘You know some people have a different life and this is how they are and you just have to treat them as such, and treat them with kindness and respect,'” said Bryan.