Famous Unconditional Surrender Statue Graffitied


Courtesy of NBC news

Dominic Herrera, Staff Writer

In the early morning hours of February 19th, police officers of Sarasota, Florida received information that an unknown suspect had graffitied the phrase “#MeToo” on the Unconditional Surrender Statue.

  The statue is based off of a photograph taken on V-J Day in Times Square in New York City on August 14th, 1945 to celebrate Japan’s surrender to the United States, ending World War II. The vandalization occurred soon after the passing of George Mendonsa, the veteran the statue is based off of, due to a seizure on February 17th.

  Dylan Wakyama (9, who has heard the news says, “Let the past be the past. Don’t judge something by today’s standards because the standards of society are always changing.”

  Greta Friedman, the woman the statue is based off, has stated the kiss was not her choice and said “The guy just came over and kissed and grabbed.” Despite her statement, Friedman was confirmed to not be the woman in the photograph. In light of the Me Too and Time’s Up movement, the photograph and statue have received backlash due to its representation of non-consensual kissing. Despite the controversy, the statue has remained on display in Sarasota.

  Lauren La Rue (10), a supporter of the Me Too movement, commented on the situation,“I don’t feel breaking the law is necessary…and the person could have easily filed a complaint or addressed the issue at a town meeting.”

  The graffiti has been removed from the statue by the Sarasota Police Department; however, the identity of the person who graffitied the statue remains unknown.