Parents Allow Kids to Play on Vietnam Memorial

It’s one thing to let your kids climb all over your couch, but it’s another thing to encourage them to climb all over something dedicated to veterans.

Folks are up in arms about a photo taken by Matthew Munson as he visited The Vietnam Women’s Memorial in Washington D.C. The photo in the middle of the controversy shows a couple of kids climbing all over the memorial, which depicts uniformed women as they care for an injured soldier. The statue honors the women who served during the Vietnam War.

After posting the picture to Facebook, Munson explained that the parents were encouraging their kids to play on the memorial for a photo. There weren’t many people around in the beginning, he said, but “then 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,” WHNT News 19 reports.

Talk about disrespectful.

Ashley Hollingsworth Robertson, a Facebook user and WHNT reader, agreed. “As a veteran, I find it offensive. They should be taught to respect it, not enjoy it as if it’s a jungle gym,” she said. “Find a playground, and show some respect.”

On the flip side, however, some are saying that it is a positive thing that these kids were enjoying the memorial, even though they really didn’t know what it was.

We would never blame a kid for doing something mom and dad said was OK, but still we have to wonder what mom and dad were thinking when they said that this was OK.

Instead of opting to take their kids’ photo, these parents should have used the moment as a learning opportunity – to teach the kids what the statue truly means.

Photo courtesy of Matthew Munson

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