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    VA Secretary Intervenes After Top Officer Orders Iconic World War II Kiss Photo Removed for Being ‘Non-Consensual’

    VA Secretary Intervenes After Top Officer Orders Iconic World War II Kiss Photo Removed for Being ‘Non-Consensual'

    A recent memo from the Department of Veterans Affairs to its regional offices directed all copies of the iconic World War II photo of a sailor kissing a woman in Times Square on V-J Day to be removed from agency facilities because it depicts a “non-consensual act.”

    RimaAnn Nelson, the VA's assistant secretary of health for operations, sent the Feb. 29 memo calling for the prompt removal of the photo — capturing a historic moment of public jubilation after Japan surrendered in 1945 — saying it was “inconsistent with the VA's no-tolerance policy toward sexual harassment and assault.”

    But on Tuesday, VA Secretary Denis McDonough intervened, saying the photograph can remain. “Let me be clear: This image is not banned from VA facilities — and we will keep it in VA facilities,” he wrote on the social media platform X.

    Read Next: Alaska Is Still Waiting to Get its First State-Run Veterans Cemetery. A Backlog Stands in its Way.

    Nelson wrote in the memo that the placement of the photo in VA facilities was originally meant to commemorate the end of World War II and the return of American troops, but that perspectives on historical events “evolve.”

    “To foster a more trauma-informed environment that promotes the psychological safety of our employees and the veterans we serve, photographs depicting the ‘V-J Day in Times Square' should be removed from all Veterans Health Administration facilities,” she wrote in the memo.

    McDonough's social…

    Continue Reading This Article At Military.com

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