It’s a time-honored tradition at Navy homecomings – one lucky sailor is chosen to be first off the ship for the long-awaited kiss with a loved one.
Today, for the first time, the happily reunited couple was gay.
The dock landing ship Oak Hill has been gone for nearly three months, training with military allies in Central America.
As the homecoming drew near, the crew and ship’s family readiness group sold $1 raffle tickets for the first kiss. Petty Officer 2nd Class Marissa Gaeta bought 50 - which is actually fewer than many people buy, she said, so she was surprised Monday to find out she’d won.
Her girlfriend of two years, Petty Officer 3rd Class Citlalic Snell, was waiting when she crossed the brow.
They kissed. The crowd cheered. And with that, another vestige of the policy that forced gays to serve in secrecy vanished.
By Corinne Reilly
© December 21, 2011
In the late 1880s, the body of a 16-year-old girl was pulled from the Seine. She was apparently a suicide, as her body showed no marks of violence, but her beauty and her enigmatic smile led a Paris pathologist to order a plaster death mask of her face.
In the romantic atmosphere of fin de siècle Europe the girl’s face became an ideal of feminine beauty. The protagonist of Rainer Maria Rilke’s 1910 novel The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge writes, “The mouleur, whose shop I pass every day, has hung two plaster masks beside his door. [One is] the face of the young drowned woman, which they took a cast of in the morgue, because it was beautiful, because it smiled, because it smiled so deceptively, as if it knew.”
Ironically, in 1958 the anonymous girl’s features were used to model the first-aid mannequin Rescue Annie, on which thousands of students have practiced CPR. Though the girl’s identity remains a mystery, her face, it’s said, has become “the most kissed face of all time.”