In Life magazine a photograph appeared following the first VJ Day. It depicted a returning US sailor embracing a local woman in celebration of the end of the war. It’s an iconic and evocative image. Artist Seward Johnson, a sculptor, decided the photo needed to be made whole and created a massive 25ft three dimensional version.
Fast forward a number of decades and Seward made a replica which has been touring the world to celebrate the 75th anniversary of D Day.
The statue has two names, Unconditional Surrender and Embracing Peace. I don’t know why it has two names. Perhaps Seward couldn’t make up his mind.
Anyway, we saw it tonight at Portsmouth. It stands between the Mary Rose and the Victory and is mighty impressive.
The reason we were there was because tonight was the annual Victory Dinner and, regardless of the drizzly rain and slightly slippy upper deck, we had a glorious time. We did go for a careful wander then went below for some Pimms-under-cover before listening to the speech rewarding the annual Victory Medal.
Dawn (now a Doctor…well unofficially for the moment) and Nicktor (suffering from a foot and leg complaint) joined us aboard the HMS Victory along with Sheila and Dave Higgins on table six which was originally table seven but was changed for some reason.
It was the first time for Sheila and Dave, who are from Norfolk. They were worried they’d be stuck on a table with a bunch of old fuddy duddies. They were very glad that didn’t happen as we all contributed to being easily the rowdiest table on the gun deck.
I’ve just realised the photo above looks as if Dawn has taken a selfie with an extremely long forearm. This is not true. Sheila grabbed a passing waiter and asked him to do it.