SARASOTA, Fla. -- A special reunion took place along Sarasota's Bayfront Park, where art and history came to life 68 years later.
Standing 25 feet tall along Sarasota's Bayfront is a sculpture that recreates that famous kissing photo on the cover of Life Magazine, marking the end of World War II in 1945.
While on leave in New York City, an 18-year-old Carl "Moose" Muscarello was walking through Times Square with a buddy when he hears the war has ended.
Carl says, "I was very happy I would kiss all the girls standing still, even a couple of guys. I was in a kissing mood, it was great."
Carl is the "kissing sailor" in that famous photograph. A series of sculptures titled "Unconditional Surrender" re-enact that moment, including the statue in Sarasota.
"The statue is not of me, but what it represents unconditional surrender. We were happy the war was over," says Carl. He refers to the war as, "My personal loss. I lost six of my dearest friends from Brooklyn."
In the photographs you can see another sailor in a white uniform, Tom Bozza. He drove from Bradenton for a trip down memory lane.
Carl and Tom met again for the first time since VJ Day, 68 years ago.
"I was there among thousands of veterans who were sharing the day," says Tom. He adds, "The war was over, all I knew this sailor kissing the nurse."
Carl agreed to simulate the famous kiss pose with me. Little did this 10 News reporter know, he actually kissed me.
But the special kisses this 87-year-old sailor saves for are for his lovely wife, Shelly.
Muscarello will be featured in a PBS special produced in the Tampa Bay area. "Diamonds Along the Highway" featuring the sculpture "Unconditional Surrender" airs November 14 on WEDU at 8:30.