WWII veteran was celebrating in Tulsa when the iconic V-J Day photo was taken in NYC in 1945

BROKEN ARROW, Okla. — Frank Riesinger is a WWII veteran who is 100 years old and lives in Broken Arrow.

Riesinger had enlisted in the Army Air Corps in the 1940′s. Victory Over Japan Day or V-J Day is very significant for Riesinger and many WWII veterans.

“V-J Day was designated the end of the war, by the surrender of Japan. Now Germany had surrendered a few months before on May 8. And then we had to turn our attention to defeating Japan,” said Riesinger.

He was on furlough, on Aug 14, 1945, and happened to be in downtown Tulsa at 4th Street between Main and Boston. Riesinger’s father had a jewelry shop on the second floor of the Orpheum Theater building.

“When all of a sudden about 3:30 to 4 o’clock in the afternoon we heard loud noises coming through the windows, horns honking, and we looked out and saw rice paper and ticker tape falling like snow. Someone bursted into our office and said ‘The Japs have surrendered! The war is over!’” said Riesinger. “So, I and my 4-year-old brother took the elevator down and on the streets of Tulsa, on 4th Street, my little brother and I celebrated the surrender. The celebration took place in every city and town in the nation.”

Meanwhile, in Time Square, New York City a sailor dipped a nurse, into a kiss, which has become an iconic photo in American History. Reportedly, the two were strangers and were most likely moved by the overall elation that the war was finally over.

Riesinger and a sailor were reportedly the only two servicemen in downtown Tulsa at the moment it was announced that WWII was over.

In 2015, Riesinger realized that there wasn’t really a celebration honoring V-J Day. He began to organize and plan events locally marking the end of WWII.

“It was the end of the greatest war in the 5,000-year recorded history of mankind. Every continent was involved except Antarctica. And that is why I continue to organize every year,” said Riesinger. “It is the only celebration of V-J Day that I know of in the country and in the world.”

This year is the 77th anniversary of V-J Day and the event will be held at the Kirkland Theater in Broken Arrow. The ROTC band from Broken Arrow will be there.

Riesinger is inviting all veterans, everyone who is interested in history and WWII, families and the community to commiserate this important day in history, V-J Day this Saturday at 7 p.m.