We were fortunate to live in a wonderful, little town named Venice, Florida for a number of years where my husband was a Christian minister. The next city, north of Venice is Sarasota…also a beautiful town on the Gulf of Mexico. Standing near the beach is a patriotic statue of the famous picture of a sailor kissing a nurse in celebration of the end to fighting in WWII.
In fact, when this photo was made, the whole population of New York was celebrating in the middle of the streets. Every time I rode by the statue in Sarasota, I thought how great that we are still reminded of the wonderful military and medical personnel that served and died in WW II.
Unfortunately, the statue was sprayed with red paint and the city is considering removing it all together. Why?
Is it pressure from various groups? Have we stopped celebrating our World War II victory? Is this like so many statues that depict history that are being damaged, removed or defaced? Removing this statue is a slap in the face to our bravest men and women.
A letter written to the Sarasota mayor and commissioner:
“It commemorates the celebration of VJ Day and the end of World War II,” Rep. Vern Buchanan wrote in a letter to the mayor and city commission. “This representation of that moment more than 75 years ago reminds us of an important time in our country’s history and honors the ‘Greatest Generation’ who served and sacrificed.”
The 25-foot “Unconditional Surrender” sculpture depicts an iconic photograph taken in Times Square in Aug. 14, 1945, showing a Navy sailor named George Mendonsa kissing Greta Zimmer Friedman, a dental assistant, in the street. (Taken from the article written by Michael Riuz)
We hope for the sake of all those Gold Star families and brave veterans who fought for freedom, Sarasota will reconsider its removal. San Diego has the same statue…refurbished it…and made it permanent. At least we hope it is still there! Keep celebrating the brave and the free.
UPDATE AFTER THIS BLOG WAS POSTED: UNCONDITIONAL SURRENDER STATUE WILL STAY ON SARASOTA WATER FRONT:
The announcement came in an tweet from the Florida Congressman and well before Sarasota’s elected officials were poised to discuss the issue. (Most likely because the citizens of Sarasota were in an uproar!)
September 10, 2020 | Categories: ART, Beautiful Photography, books by N.W.Boyer, Books by Nancy W. Boyer, Books for young people, Books of Inspiration, Boyer Writes, Community, Famous People, Florida, FREEDOM, Heros, History, Interesting places or People, Leaders, Military, Politics and Politicians | Tags: celebrating victory, George Mendonsa, Gold Star Families, Greta Zimmer Friedman, San Diego, Sarasota Florida, statue removals, Unconditional surrender, Venice Florida, veterans, WWII | 1 Comment