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Mystery couple in 'proposal' photo speak out

Angila Golik is the amateur photographer behind a mystery photo of a man in uniform who she believed was proposing to a woman at the War Memorial in Washington D.C.

After her online search went viral and she appeared on TODAY to help find the couple in the romantic moment, the two spoke out — and said it wasn't a proposal, but a dress rehearsal of sorts.

Golik, a social studies teacher from Carson City, Nevada, was in D.C. on business for the National Education Association conference on July 2nd. While in town, she went for a walk on the Mall, sightseeing and taking photos. It was then that she spotted two people standing in the middle of the War Memorial. It looked as though the man was about to propose, so she took out her camera, zoomed in and clicked.

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“It’s such a beautiful moment and I would think any new bride would want (the photos) for her scrapbooks,” Golik told TODAY’s Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie Tuesday morning.

So she asked the public for help in tracking them down.

She posted the photos on Facebook and made a YouTube video, which has since gone viral. In the video she calls the proposal a “moment of pure beauty” and says that she could feel the love through her camera lens.

Later Tuesday morning, the couple finally spoke out. Via a statement, they revealed what they were really up to at the memorial — and asked for privacy.

"Several media outlets have reported about the 'Mystery Couple Proposal in D.C.' The couple is delighted that this intimate moment at the War Memorial has brought warmth and inspiration to many hearts," read the statement, from Air Force Lt. Colonel Ann Knabe. "It does them good to know the photos have restored hope in the idea of love for some, based on the comments readers and viewers have posted on the web. The couple would like to thank Ms. Golik for capturing photographs they might not have otherwise had. In addition, they would like to clear up some confusion surrounding this moment: The Air Force member was not proposing to his fiancée...at least not for the first time, as they had become engaged two weeks prior to these photos. Instead, they were walking around several memorials to determine if one of them would make a good location for their wedding ceremony. The photographer happened to catch the couple acting as if they were reciting their vows in the middle of the memorial, and re-living their sweet moment from two weeks prior. Though this was in a public place, the couple asks for their privacy to be respected, so that they can plan their wedding out of the public eye."

After a worldwide outreach, Golik can put her search to rest. Which is a good thing: “I actually have a quite busy life I need to get back to," Golik told TODAY.

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