A photo taken of children climbing a Vietnam Women’s Memorial – while elderly veterans looked on – has sparked public outrage.
Photographer Matthew Munson posted pictures on Facebook Wednesday of his trip to Washington when one particular photo stood out among the rest.
“… 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,” Munson said.
“Then the veterans showed up, and they looked hurt more than angry. They were quiet.”
Photo of kids treating Vietnam Women’s Memorial like jungle gym goes viral. http://t.co/W9hkihZVgz pic.twitter.com/9ti7veascZ
— Fox News (@FoxNews) March 26, 2015
The Vietnam Women’s Memorial was erected to commemorate women of the United States who served in the Vietnam War, reported WHNT 19 News.
A veteran who came to the memorial to pay his respects is seen looking quite somber in the photo that has gone viral and is eliciting an emotional response through social media.
“Holy hell! Maybe afterwards the parents could take their kids on a nice tomato throwing spree at a cathedral. Please understand, I’m not blaming the kids,” wrote one Facebook commenter.
In reply to someone suggesting that a sign might be helpful to remind today’s society about respect someone wrote, “You don’t need a damn sign. Just make your kids get down and have some respect!!!”
Another chimed in, “Obviously these kids have no veterans in their family and their parents have absolutely NO IDEA what it means to sacrifice ALL for you country! Despicable on the parent’s behalf.”
Munson also believes that the parents should be held accountable for their children’s actions.
“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,” Munson said.
“I feel like the parents should be ashamed, and anyone that tries to blame the kids are wrong in doing so. If you look at the hurt veterans, they are looking past the kids and towards the parents that are out of the frame.”
Munson acknowledged to WHNT that veterans and other visitors at the site were visibly disgusted with the parents – while they and their children remained seemingly oblivious.
Twitter folks, on the other hand, were engaged:
@FoxNews I love the look of disgust on the gentleman’s face. The parents of those kids should be ashamed.
— Aaron Silverman (@aaronsilverman) March 26, 2015
@FoxNews could it get any more disrespectful than that? That makes me sick.
— Morgan Bollinger. (@ThaRealMCB) March 26, 2015
@FoxNews DISGRACEFUL! The adults do nothing?What’s wrong with ALL of them?Everyone wonders why some of our youth have such a lack of respect
— Laura Weber (@baycitylaura) March 26, 2015
@FoxNews PARENTS should be teaching their kids respect & limitations…BUT clearly the PARENTS have done a poor job…shame on the PARENTS…
— j s p (@islandbacio) March 26, 2015
@FoxNews here we go again with more parents not disciplining their kids! Come on America get it together!!! #respect
— Alicia (@Bella_rosa11) March 26, 2015
.@theblaze Wouldn’t have occurred to us to play on monuments; my parents would have spanked us into tomorrow.
— David Morgan (@StarCoreOne02) March 26, 2015
@theblaze My parents would’ve kicked my ass!
— Jules Doyle (@julesdoyle) March 26, 2015
@BradStokley Easy fix- teach the kids to respect property!!
— Irish (@Avila2080) March 26, 2015
How about we teach them to respect property, but more importantly, our veterans.
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