One of the most beautiful parts of downtown San Diego is the marina. Docked there you will find the USS Midway. The USS Midway was the first fleet carrier to have the distinction of being named after the battle in the pacific during WWII and is now a museum open to the public.
Directly across from the Midway, in Mole Park, you will see a rather enormous statue which stands as a WWII tribute to VJ day. This tribute entitled “Unconditional Surrender”, and is a 25-foot, 6,000 pound statue by world-renowned artist J. Seward Johnson commemorating a famous World War II photo. The statue is a three-dimensional interpretation of a photo taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt of a sailor kissing a nurse in Times Square, New York City on Aug. 14, 1945, following the announcement of V-J Day.
Upon its unveiling on February 10th, 2007 the staue was met with local criticism. “Robert L. Pincus, art critic of The San Diego Union Tribune, said that according to “theme-park logic” the statue suited the site, in front of the Midway Aircraft Museum, and that it pleased couples who mimicked the pose, but that it was kitsch and ‘The figures look like something from a cheap souvenir factory, blown up beyond any reason.’” But despite the critics, local residents and visitors alike have come to enjoy the charm of the oversized and somewhat cartoonish figure in Mole Park.
Interestingly enough the statue was originally slated for only a one year tour in San Diego, but due to the generosity of the Sculpture Foundation of Santa Monica, the statue’s stay has been extended over the past 3 ½ years for free. It was to finish its tour last year in the San Diego Marina in August, but alas as of today, January 16th 2011 the statue still stands. A supposed deadline is said to exist for this month, so the “Unconditional Surrender” maybe surrendering itself to another city in the not too distant future!
My friend Donna strikes the nurses pose!