News

U.S.

‘Kissing Sailor’ Statue Vandalized with ‘#MeToo’ after Veteran Dies

U.S. Navy sailor Glenn Edward McDuffie kisses a nurse in Times Square at the close of World War Two, after the surrender of Japan was announced in New York, August 14, 1945. (US Navy/Handout via Reuters)

A statue based on the iconic ‘kissing sailor’ photograph snapped on V-J Day in Times Square was vandalized Monday night, spray-painted with the ‘#MeToo’ hashtag just hours after the veteran in the photo passed away.

Police in Sarasota, Florida, where the 26-foot statue stands, were called shortly after midnight Tuesday morning, responding to a report of an unknown individual spray-painting the phrase on the statue in red.

The “#MeToo” slogan spray-painted by unknown vandals on the Unconditional Surrender statue, in Sarasota, Fla., February 19, 2019. (Sarasota Police Department/Handout via Reuters)

No surveillance cameras are in the area and no witnesses appear to have seen the incident. The damage is estimated to be $1000, and the graffiti was removed later Tuesday morning.

George Mendonsa for decades claimed to be the sailor in the famous 1945 Times Square photo of a sailor engaged in a passionate kiss with a woman just as World War II ended. He passed away Sunday at 95 in Newport, R.I., according to his family.

The photo that inspired the kissing statue has been celebrated as one of the most famous images of all time. But the moment has also been criticized as a sexual violation of the woman in the photo, 21-year-old Greta Friedman.

“Suddenly, I was grabbed by a sailor,” she recalled, adding that he was “very strong.” “It wasn’t that much of a kiss. It was more of a jubilant act that he didn’t have to go back.”

Mendonsa, who was 22 at the time, always maintained that he kissed Friedman because he thought she was a nurse (she was actually a dental assistant) and he was overcome with gratitude for the work he had witnessed nurses do on wounded men while he was overseas.

Something to Consider

If you enjoyed this article, we have a proposition for you: Join NRPLUS. Members get all of our content (including the magazine), no paywalls or content meters, an advertising-minimal experience, and unique access to our writers and editors (conference calls, social-media groups, etc.). And importantly, NRPLUS members help keep NR going. Consider it?

If you enjoyed this article, and were stimulated by its contents, we have a proposition for you: Join NRPLUS.

LEARN MORE

Most Popular

Elections

The Democrats Made Two Joe Biden Miscalculations

I think it's safe to say that there are many, many progressive Democrats who are more than a little surprised -- and a lot chagrined -- at Joe Biden's polling dominance. Look at FiveThirtyEight's polling roundup. Aside from a few high and low outliers, he leads the race by a solid 20 points (at least). Even ... Read More
National Security & Defense

The Warmonger Canard

Whatever the opposite of a rush to war is — a crawl to peace, maybe — America is in the middle of one. Since May 5, when John Bolton announced the accelerated deployment of the Abraham Lincoln carrier group to the Persian Gulf in response to intelligence of a possible Iranian attack, the press has been aflame ... Read More