Most people remember the iconic photo known as “The Kiss”, depicting a sailor and nurse sharing a kiss and embrace in Times Square after the sailor returned home after World War II. What many fail to realize about the photo is that the two were complete strangers, and it was over 65 years before they saw each other again.
Strangers or not, the photo became one of the most famous photographs of the 20th century.
According to the photographer, it only took about ten seconds to take the photo, and according to the nurse, “The Kiss” didn’t even last long. Regardless of how long it took to snap the image or how long the infamous kiss was though, it became a defining photo of that time.
Now, another photo has emerged and captured the hearts of people everywhere.
By looking at a cropped photo of Marine veteran Jesse Cottle and his wife Kelly, the story behind it isn’t obvious, nor is the unfortunate circumstance that became the catalyst of a love story deserving of a permanent place in history.
Jesse is embracing his wife in the photo (Credit: Sarah Ledford/ShutterHappy Photography) – but while he’s being carried on her back. That’s because Jesse is a double-amputee, having lost both legs after stepping on an IED while serving in Afghanistan in 2009.The photo went viral after the photographer posted it on Facebook.
Jesse's story first started when he attended a swim meet with his new prosthetic legs. There, Jesse met his future wife, Kelly. Jesse says if he hadn’t stepped on that IED, he wouldn’t have met her - and the viral photo wouldn’t be here as a reminder of what pictures can truly mean to us – especially veterans.
It’s also a reminder of how fortunate we are to have the ability to do things like scan photos, preserving the important moments and memories of our lives.
“The Kiss” withstood the test of time, but it could have been misplaced and not been properly preserved, disappearing forever. As we learned from that iconic photo, photos can help define and preserve times past - just one more reason to scan your photos. Photos are the closest we can get to freezing moments in time.
As Jesse and Kelly demonstrate, pictures are worth far more than 1000 words – they’re illustrations of our lives, and if you scan your photos, those times can always be re-visited. It may only take ten seconds to take a photo, and what’s in it may not last long, but preserving photos by scanning them will help guard your memories for a lifetime.