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Tags: vietname | womens | memorial | kids | climbing

Vietnam Women's Memorial Climbed on by Kids, Sparking Outrage

By    |   Wednesday, 25 March 2015 05:42 PM EDT

A photo of kids climbing on the Vietnam Women’s Memorial as military veterans look on in horror sparked outrage this week, and set off a debate about appropriate behavior at national monuments.

A photographer named Matthew Munson was visiting the National Mall recently for a day of shooting when he came upon "two little brats climbing over [a] war memorial right in front of a veteran. It was a sobering moment."

Munson snapped a photo of the incident, and later shared it on Facebook. The photo soon went viral, with many people making negative comments toward the children and the parents of the children.



In an interview with WHNT 19 News, Munson said that the kids were following the instructions of their parents.

"[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," he said.

Some online commenters said that they don't mind kids climbing on memorials, so long as they don't damage them. Others disagreed, saying it was disrespectful to climb on memorials.

After wading through hundreds of comments, Munson himself took a more nuanced approach.

"At this point I lean more towards the parents being disrespectful. Certain memorials and statues are more positive and welcoming to kids and parents expressing their freedom and good vibes; other memorials (this one) focuses (sic) on the tragedies of war and how certain groups of people played a big role in helping others recover from it," he said.

"Having children step all over a wounded warrior is not an appropriate way to express the freedom our veterans fought for, in my opinion. I think the parents should have explained to their kids the meaning of the memorial and the heroics of women involved in the crisis, and save the climbing and playing for a jungle gym."

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TheWire
A photo of kids climbing on the Vietnam Women's Memorial as military veterans look on in horror sparked outrage this week, and set off a debate about appropriate behavior at national monuments.
vietname, womens, memorial, kids, climbing
348
2015-42-25
Wednesday, 25 March 2015 05:42 PM
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