The VA To Remove Iconic WWII Photo

Photo by Samuel Branch on Unsplash

( – Republican lawmakers are pushing for the Veterans Affairs official that is responsible for having sent out a now-rescinded memo to have the V-J Day photo removed from VA offices removed from their position. 

Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke and Sen. Steve Daines sent a letter to VA Secretary Denis McDonough calling for the removal of an employee after an X account shared a memo that RimaAnn Nelson, the Assistant Under Secretary for Health Operations , had sent last week. 

Nelson in the memo was pushing to have the historic photo of a Navy sailor who kissed a woman in Times Square to be removed from the VA medical buildings, arguing that the photo did not foster a “more trauma-informed environment” which would grant the space for psychological safety. 

The memo further notes that this picture depicts a non-consensual act which is not consistent with the no-tolerance policy followed by the VA when it comes to assault and sexual harassment. 

On Tuesday, Secretary McDonough released a statement overriding the memo in which he stated that the image was not going to be banned in VA facilities and that it would still be allowed to exist there. 

A VA spokesperson confirmed that the memo should not have been sent out but that after it was sent out they rescinded it. However, the lawmakers are still pushing for Nelson to be fired in response to the “politically driven memo.” 

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