Giant 25-foot WWII 'kissing' statue removed from Royal Oak

ROYAL OAK, Mich. - A 25-foot tall statue based on a famous WWII photo of a sailor kissing a nurse in New York City is leaving Royal Oak after a six-month stay. 

Seward Johnson’s “Embracing Peace,” the massive interpretation of the famous kiss that marked the end of WWII, is moving to Key West, Fla. this week. It was removed from Royal Oak on Thursday. 

The sculpture was brought to Royal Oak to raise awareness and funds for The Michigan WWII Legacy Memorial, according to a press release from the city. It certainly did that, with thousands of photos of the statue on social media since its arrival June 20. 



The Michigan WWII Legacy Memorial in Royal Oak will provide a year-round multi-purpose destination that will tell Michigan’s unique story while encouraging visitors to both commemorate and celebrate their freedom. It is the state’s officially recognized tribute to its contributions to WWII.

Another Seward Johnson’s work, "Can Do!," a life-sized rendition of Rosie the Riveter, is currently on display at the Royal Oak Farmer’s Market.

Check  for details on other locations Can Do! will appear.

Debi Hollis, President of The Michigan WWII Legacy Memorial said: “We were so proud to have this sculpture come to the site of The Michigan WWII Legacy Memorial. We are grateful to the Seward Johnson Atelier for their partnership and belief in our project. Their support has been remarkable and we truly can’t thank them enough. This sculpture has truly broadened our exposure and support base and we are thrilled.”

Local funding was provided by Jack and Annette Aronson of Clean Planet Foods.

“We’ve been proud supporters of The Michigan WWII Legacy Memorial for the last three years,” Jack Aronson said. “Sponsoring the installation of this iconic statue near the site of the memorial was another great opportunity to help raise awareness and funds for the project.”

In case you're wondering, here's how they moved the statue to Royal Oak: 

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