VA Reverses “Nonconsensual” WW2 Photo Ban after Memo Sparks Fury

Give Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps he doesn’t read every email from every redundant paper-shuffling undersecretary in his department.

Maybe he missed last Thursday’s memo from RimaAnn Nelson that reads like something out of Orwell, in which she directs all department employees to seek out and destroy all copies of the iconic photograph by Alfred Eisenstaedt, V-J Day in Times Square.

“Promptly,” it demanded.

The memo was leaked by X account “End Wokeness,” and a viral backlash ensued. The test-run by Nelson and her comrades failed.

Secretary McDonough took to social media Tuesday morning to quell the tension.

“Let me be clear,” McDonough published. “This image is not banned from VA facilities—and we will keep it in VA facilities.”

The Department learned quickly some patriotism yet endures in America. V-J Day in Times Square shall remain on the walls of government buildings—for now.

According to the Daily Caller, a VA official confirmed that the memo existed and was rescinded after the news leaked online. This begs the question, if it had never reached the public, would the photo still be hanging in VA facilities?

The memo admits that V-J Day in Times Square, depicting a U.S. sailor smooching a woman after the announcement of Japan’s defeat in August 1945, quickly became a symbol of joy and victory for Americans. The problem is, as far as the comrades who now control the government are concerned, such emotions are for bigots only.

White Christian nationalists, to coin a phrase.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has been undergoing “discussions,” Nelson explained in the memo. “Discussions” is the euphemism for superfluous workshops run by college-educated Leftists who hope to dismantle American institutions. They lecture, hector, guilt-trip. You listen quietly and nod your head – or else! It was only a matter of time until they went after the VA. It’s only a matter of time until they go after everything.

Recent discussions have highlighted concerns about the non-consensual nature of the kiss, prompting debates on consent and the appropriateness of celebrating such images in today’s environment…

Allow me to translate: smooching a nurse to celebrate the end of WW2 can be considered one of the many crimes under that Iceberg of Violence that is a perennial topic at one of these DEI reeducation camps.

You think I’m kidding about the Iceberg? Comrades, behold:

Screen capture: LinkedIn, originally National Rugby League

For reference, other iniquities plastered on such a graphic may include “jokes” or a “gender pay gap,” diluting real violence and harming real victims in the process.

The best part of V-J Day in Times Square is the mystery behind the subjects. Handfuls of men approached Eisenstaedt—one even suing him—to prove that they were the sailor photographed. And who was the woman receiving the kiss? Was she a lover? A stranger? Was the sailor, as one story goes, out with another date at the time?

Every sailor and soldier may identify with the champion on the left, every woman with the Rosie the Riveter on the right. It’s a symbol of perfect inclusion.

Conversely, perversely, the motive behind the memo was to divide, to erase American greatness, a triumph for the ages. It was not to promote “awareness,” as Nelson purports.

To foster a more trauma-informed environment that promotes the psychological safety for our employees and the Veterans we serve, photographs depicting the “V-J Day in Times Square” should be removed from all VHA facilities.

This action reflects our dedication to creating a respectful and safe workplace and is in keeping with our broader efforts to promote a culture of inclusivity and awareness.

Nelson’s memo then suggests VA facilities seek “alternative photographs” or “suitable replacements” more consistent with present-day values.

In celebrating the end of World War II and the valiant service of our Veterans, facilities should seek alternative photographs that capture the spirit of victory and peace without compromising the VA’s commitment to a safe and respectful environment.

As if the photograph is ancient! In less than four score years, what was once a symbol of bravery, triumph and joy is now too unsafe and disrespectful for the public eye.

Perhaps Google’s ahistorical artificial intelligence could serve up the VA with something more…how does one say…appropriate.

Behind the attempted erasure is RimaAnn O. Nelson, who currently holds the position of Assistant Under Secretary for Health for Operations. It is safe to assume the bureaucrat has quite a lot of time on her hands if she’s sending out memos about redecorating the Department.

How Nelson earned the position is a puzzle. Her resume was troubling enough to raise the eyebrows of Arizona Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema and Sen. John McCain alike.

Back in 2010, under the leadership of RimaAnn O. Nelson, approximately 1,800 patients at the St. Louis VA Medical Center were exposed to HIV and hepatitis infection due to breaches in the sterilization of dental equipment.

“Though a few patients did test positive for some of these diseases, it was determined that exposure in the dental clinic was not the cause,” the VA claimed at the time. Nelson was then transferred to Manila in the Philippines and named Director of the Department’s only foreign facility. In off-shore exile, she maintained a six-figure salary and free housing.

Don’t they always?

In 2016, when the VA announced Nelson would return to the US to take over the Phoenix VA Medical Center, Sinema reacted, “Oh, my God, really? This is outrageous.”

Now McCain is dead and Sinema is a lame duck. Yet Nelson remains, one preventable catastrophe after another.

As Thomas Jefferson said of the federal bureaucracy so long ago, “Vacancies by death are few, by resignation, never.”

It seems RimaAnn O. Nelson’s oversight of the physical contamination of American veterans has been forgiven enough so that the apparatchik is now allowed to instead contaminate the American Spirit.

If Nelson had only been more subtle in destroying records and rewriting history, the Veterans Affairs Secretary would not have to come out and pretend such a memo does not align with Biden Brand Strategy.

Nelson’s status in the Department of Veterans Affairs is an evolving story. Perhaps the Philippines is hiring?

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