Artist Matthew Munson was taking photos of his visit to Washington D.C. when he spotted some children playing on the Vietnam Women's Memorial while a veteran looked on.
"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 told WHNT. "Then the veterans showed up, and they looked hurt more than angry. They were quiet."
Though Munson recognized the image as "sobering" on his Facebook, he did not predict the viral uproar it would cause after a user posted it on Reddit.
Munson denied a request for comment.
Some angry readers put the blame on the parents of the children who Munson photographed.
But others chalked it up to them just being kids.
But many, especially on Reddit, defended the picture as a visual of our freedom.
User IllHaveTheSouffle wrote:
I got a tour in Normandy and when we got the beaches of d-day it looked like any other beach with families and kids and I asked the guide why they allow this and it isn't like closed off in memorial of the soldiers who died. and he totally put me in my place and said "isn't that exactly what those soldiers died for"
Munson himself said he thought the parents should be held accountable.
"I feel like the parents should be ashamed, and anyone that tries to blame the kids are wrong in doing so," he said. "If you look at the hurt veterans, they are looking past the kids and towards the parents that are out of the frame."
Blame the parents!Let the kids play, it's not disrespectful, they're just having fun.These kids should know better.Who cares?
vote votesBlame the parents!
vote votesLet the kids play, it's not disrespectful, they're just having fun.
vote votesThese kids should know better.
vote votesWho cares?