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Edith Shain, nurse from iconic V-J Day photo, dies at 91

Posted: June 24, 2010 4:33 p.m.
Updated: June 25, 2010 2:56 p.m.

Edith Shain sits on the base of a monumental statue located in San Diego. She died on Sunday, June 20.

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The iconic and beloved nurse featured in a famous V-J Day photo, Edith Shain, died on Sunday, June 20. She was 91.

Edith Shain was vivacious and lively throughout her 80s and made many public appearances, bringing her special presence to numerous veteran events.

"Every event that Edith attended, the WWII veterans would cheer at her arrival. She would give all a glowing smile – petite and pretty in her white nurses uniform, shoes and hat – and always gather a crowd," said Paula Stoeke, director of The Sculpture Foundation.

"She danced with several Pearl Harbor survivors at the San Diego event where the 25-foot tall monumental sculpture was unveiled, twirling to the upbeat tempo of “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy."

Edith was proud to have met Alfred Eisenstadt, the renowned photographer who captured the famous "kiss" in Times Square. He recognized her, formally, as the nurse in the picture. The sailor’s identity has never been confirmed.

"Edith had very clear and articulate views on politics and on striving for peace in the world. She honored all men and women who serve in the armed forces with her powerful personal force," Stoeke said. "The 'greatest generation' has lost another voice, and we will miss her."

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