Jan Rose Kasmir
Jan Rose Kasmir (born in 1950) is a former American high-school student who became known due to an iconic anti-war photograph taken by French photographer Marc Riboud. Kasmir was photographed on 21 October 1967 while taking part with several thousand anti-war activists who had marched to The Pentagon to protest against America’s involvement in Vietnam. Seventeen-year-old Kasmir was shown clasping a crysanthemum and gazing at bayonet-wielding soldiers. The photo was published world-wide and became a symbol of the flower power movement. Smithsonian Magazine later called it "a gauzy juxtaposition of armed force and flower child innocence".
Kasmir became a massage therapist in 1986, graduating from the New York College of Health Professionals in Manhasset New York, at the . Jan moved to Hilton Head Island, SC. And pursued a highly successful career as a medically trained massage therapist. She attended a high profile list of clients including professional golfers,including Mike Weir, Joddy Mudd, Robert Allenby, Russ Cochran, tennis players, including Stan Smith and Tim Gullikson and celebrities including Sylvestor Stallone and wife Jennifer Flavin, Bon Jovi, John Cougar Mellencamp, Joel Silver and more. She volunteered massage for the wheelchair tennis tournaments sponsored by the Professional Tennis Registry since the 1980's.
In 1991 her daughter, Lisa Ann Kasmir was born. Jan closed down her practice, and dedicated herself to mothering her daughter full-time. She moved to Aarhus, Denmark, with her Danish husband and her daughter. She returned with her daughter to the United States in 2004, and resumed living on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.
Over the years, Jan has dedicated many hours to volunteering her services. Her earliest experiences were with the American Red Cross as a Candy Striper at a nursing home. She also volunteered her time through the Unitarian Church's Youth Group, helping to clean up Scotland, Maryland, so they were able to receive normal trash pick up. In the 80's she spearheaded an effort to massage the feet of the peace marchers as they arrived in Washington, DC after crossing America in the Great Peace March.
In 2010 Jan was honored in Spain by the peace group, Paz Ahora. When the citizens of Spain were fighting General Franco and fascism, the photograph of Jan holding the flower up to the rifle-wielding soldiers was a huge source of inspiration for the freedom fighters. There was a full week of peace related activities. The final event was a dignified ceremony, wherein 3,000 people held lighted torches to form a human peace sign. The effect was stunning.
Currently, she is working on her autobiography with author, Ken Scott, whose best known book is Do The Birds Still Sing in Hell. Kasmir is aspiring to return to school to become a Rabbi and head up her social organization, Mensches in the Trenches, dedicated to promoting service to the community.
- Kasmir Photo, by Marc Riboud, October 1967