Walgreen's honored the WWII generation with a special message on all of its jumbo screens at its Times Square store.
Click on the photo above to see the clip that showed 10 times per hour from 10 AM to 2 PM on Tuesday, August 14.
Walgreen's helped celebrate Spirit of '45 Day this year by displaying the giant banner of the famous "Kiss" comprised of the photos of couples who got together during the '40's, and creating a special video that it showed on its Times Square store's jumbo screens congratulating America's "Greatest Generation" on the 67th anniversary of their "greatest day" -- the day World War II ended on August 14, 1945. The Walgreen's store sign can be seen in the famous photograph of the "kiss seen 'round the world" taken in Times Square during the celebrations that took place that day.
The mosaic was comprised of hundreds of photos of couples who got together during the '40's that were sent in from all over the United States by National Sponsoring Partner VITAS Innovative Hospice and senior living communities such as Atria Senior Living which helped support a national Spirit of '45 tour to raise public awareness and participation in the project.
A press conference was held in front of the Walgreen's Times Square store to unveil the 8 x 12 ft banner of the famous Kiss photo made up of 1,945 photos of couples who got together during the '40's. The banner was created by Fold3.com, using photos submitted from across the country, and printed by Hewlett-Packard's Large Format Media Group.
Posing for a group photo in front of the banner were representatives from the USS Intrepid Museum, Atria Senior Living, the Girl Scouts, the New York Historical Society and the United War Veterans Council of New York.
During the press conference, Jerry Telson, District Manager for New York City operations, received a Spirit of '45 National Leaders Medal in recognition of his company's support for the observance of National Spirit of '45 Day. The Medal was presented by National Spirit of '45 Day spokesman Dr. Roscoe Brown, and Joy Beebe, a British WWII war bride from Salem, OR, whose wedding photos was included among the hundreds in the "Kiss" mosaic. Ms. Beebe also participated in the "Wall of Honor" ceremony in Washington, D.C. which included her husband's photo.
Following the press conference, Walgreen's management and staff invited the group to a "wrap party" to enjoy some refreshments and pose for photos with the Kiss mosaic.
"What a day!" said Frank Caldwell, who served in the Pacific. "This is like a dream come true -- celebrating the day we learned we could all go home-- and in Times Square!"
"Keep the Spirit of '45 Day Alive!" will be organizing annual celebrations in Times Square on August 14th each year. A major celebration for the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII on August 14, 2015.
Click here for more photos (courtesy of David Steele)
Prior to the press conference, the group assembled in front of a 6 ft version of artist Seward Johnson's famous sculpture depicting the "Kiss" that was placed in Time Square's Duffy Plaza by the Sculpture Foundation to commemorate the Day. The sculpture will be on loan to the New York Historical Society as part of its "NYC & WWII" exhibit that will open on October 5.