Saturday, March 28, 2015


"Two little brats climbing over war memorial right in front of a veteran," photographer Matt Munson stated on his Facebook account.

Munson added that the parents were not in the picture that he took but he had seen them laughing at their children.  He added that the kids had drawn a small crowd and when the parents realized that the crowd was not happy with their antics, they took off before he could get a picture of them all together.  The picture has touched off quite a debate online with many stating how disrespectful it was for the parents to allow.  There are some though who tried to paint in a good light by using phrases such as "kids will be kids" and the image actually shows kids being able to be free to play because of what veterans have done in the past.

Kids will be kids is a lame excuse for letting or encouraging your children to climb all over a monument.  We grew up as a family visiting numerous memorials, monuments, museums and battlefields and we did not run hog-wild over them.  My parents took the time to explain to us what it was that we were going to visit and what historical significance it served.  They also were very quick to march us out to the car so we could sit out a visit if we ever tried to misbehave.  Kids will be the kids you raise them to be and encouraging them to climb on a monument that does not have a sign welcoming that behavior is disrespectful.

This monument is a sculpture.... a work of art that commemorates the work that women did during the Vietnam War and is meant to be a memorial and not a jungle gym.  Where do those parents think the money will come to repair it if it were damaged?  If every parent thought it was fine to have there kids climb all over it, it will become worn and damaged over time.  The money to repair to replace it doesn't grow on trees, it comes out of somebody's pocket or it comes from admission charges to visit memorials.

What they are teaching their young children is that anything not locked away, under layers of glass, bars and alarms is free game for them to damage.  That would have been the attitude of the two young women who thought it was okay to carve their initials into the Coliseum in Rome Italy and then take selfies next to it.Teaching your children not to assume everything out there is something to play on is not being a bad parent......... it is being a responsible one.  Munson stated that the parents had encouraged the children to climb on it and he only began taking pictures when he noticed veterans coming by.  If their children were so bored with visiting the memorial or the nearby Vietnam Memorial, they should have brought along something to amuse them or............... taught them that the world does not revolve around them every minute of the day.

If the subject that they were climbing all over was changed, say to the parents own car and it was someone elses children climbing all over it and hanging off the mirrors...... do you think they would have the same attitude?  I doubt it and I am pretty sure they would be yelling for a police officer to arrest the parents and charge them for the damage that may have been done.  I don't think they would take the answer, "kids will be kids" when asked why they let their kids climb all over the car.

It is a war memorial........ not a jungle gym....... show some respect and take the moment to teach your children some respect as well.

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