The 25 ft. tall statue “Unconditional Surrender” depicting a US sailor famously photographed kissing a nurse at the end of World War II was vandalized a day after the sailors death with graffiti reading “#MeToo”.
For many the image of George Mendonsa kissing Greta Zimmer Friedman represents the joy and exhilaration felt across the United States on the day Japan surrendered, ending World War II.
But some in the #MeToo movement have stated that both the photo and the statue depicts an act of sexual assault, given the fact Mr Mendonsa did not have Ms Friedman’s consent to kiss her.
Greta Zimmer Friedman said before her death that it wasn’t her choice to be kissed and that Mr Mendonsa “grabbed” her.
However, she made it clear the kiss was a “jubilant act” and “it was just an event of ‘thank god the war is over'” during one of the United States most terrible times in history.
Police estimate the cost of the damage to be well over $1,000 due to the large area that the graffiti covers
The City of Sarasota confirmed the graffiti was removed on Tuesday morning. .
There is no word if the police have any leads on who the vandalized the statue.
George Mendonsa passed away Sunday at the assisted living facility in Middletown, Rhode Island, where he lived with his wife.
He was 96 years old.