SARASOTA – Vandals covered a statue in Florida depicting the iconic photograph commemorating the end of World War II in red paint Tuesday, spraying #MeToo across the memorial.
Sarasota’s statue of the “The Kiss” remembers one of the most famous photographs of the 20th century. The picture photographed by Alfred Eisenstaedt shows war veteran George Mendonsa kissing Greta Zimmer Friedman in Times Square on Aug. 14, 1945, the day Japan surrendered to the U.S.
Police have not discovered who is responsible for the vandalism.
“The approximate damage is estimated to be more than $1,000 due to the large area that the graffiti covers, and the resources needed to repair it,” according to the Sarasota Police Department, CBS News reported Tuesday.
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Friedman and Mendonsa did not know each other before they kissed. “The excitement of the war bein’ over, plus I had a few drinks,” Mendonsa said, CBS reported in a separate article. “So when I saw the nurse I grabbed her, and I kissed her.”
“It was the moment that you come back from the Pacific, and finally the war ends,” Mendonsa told CBS in 2012.
Friedman echoed his sentiments. “It wasn’t that much of a kiss. It was more of a jubilant act that he didn’t have to go back,” Friedman said, CNN reported.
“It was just an event of ‘thank God, the war is over’ kind of thing,” Friedman also said in a 2005 interview.