A photo showing kids climbing over a Vietnam Women’s Memorial at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. is going viral and many call it disrespectful.
The solemn place is a tourist attraction which millions visit every year, but for those who fought for America and their families, it is much more than that. On May 25, 2015, Memorial Day and on July 4, 2015, Independence Day, veterans from all over the country take pause and visit the Vietnam Memorial to honor those fallen in battles past.
To see some children climbing all over the Vietnam Women’s Memorial has sparked anger and outrage in many, and distressed citizens have taken to social media to express their dismay at the images. Of course, these were young, innocent children who did not understand the significance of the statue they used as if they were in a playground.
But the question many are asking is, where were the parents and why didn’t they ask them to get down this instant? The image showed visitors who were clearly shocked at what they were witnessing. A woman and a man, pushing who we can assume is a veteran, look at the kids playing on the Vietnam Women’s Memorial and they were not happy.
The National Mall is a collection of memorials honoring those who fought and died for our country. The Vietnam Women’s Memorial recognizes the women who served during the Vietnam War, most of whom were nurses.
A tourist visiting the mall captured the image of the kids climbing the display as the onlookers stare in disgust and posted it to Facebook. Matthew Munson explained how he saw the two little girls and captured the moment.
“There wasn’t a lot of people at this point. Then a big group of people showed up just as the kids were treating the memorial more like a jungle gym and the parents were laughing. Then the veterans showed up, and they looked hurt more than angry. They were quiet.”
“That’s when I noticed a big group around the parents glaring at them, the pressure was intense and the kids blissfully ignorant. That’s when I snapped the picture. I tried getting a good shot of the crowd and the parents too but no luck. Kids jumped down and skittered off with their parents.”
Despite the apparent lack of disrespect shown by the kids and the parents, who apparently thought nothing of what their children were doing at the Vietnam Women’s Memorial, some are not outraged. Reddit user z3k3 has a completely different angle.
“I fully take why people can get annoyed and respect that. However my grandfather (WWII vet) loved watching the kids play on the local memorial that had the names of lost friends and family (including brother’s). He saw it as a way for the next generation to take some joy out of something so terrible and at the same time gave them a link to the past as many would stop to read the names or even get interested enough to read up on the subject a little.”
Are you outraged that these kids were allowed to play on the Vietnam Women’s Memorial?
[Image via Matthew Munson/Facebook]