Social media exploded Tuesday with news that a high-ranking Biden administration official ordered the iconic WWII Times Square kiss photo to be removed from all Veterans Affairs facilities over concerns about political correctness.

According to the memo from RimaAnn Nelson, the top operations official in the Department of Veterans Affairs, the world-famous photo of a sailor kissing a woman amid the celebrations at the war’s end “depicts a non-consensual act [and] is inconsistent with the VA’s no-tolerance policy towards sexual harassment and assault.”

“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,” Nelson’s memo added.

Hollie Noveletsky, who served eight years in the U.S. Army Reserve as a captain in the 373rd General Hospital Unit out of Boston, told NHJournal the report left her “shaking my head in disbelief. This story made me do a double take.”

She wasn’t alone. When asked about the memo by InsideSources, a spokesperson for VA Secretary Denis McDonough said, “The VA is NOT banning this photo from VA facilities,” and included a link to a social media post from the secretary.

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

The problem with the historic image, according to the VA’s Nelson, is that while it may have been viewed in the past as an iconic celebration of America’s victory, “perspectives on historical events and their representations evolve.” She claims the decision was inspired by “debates on consent and the appropriateness of celebrating such images” within the Biden Department of Veterans Affairs.

Noveletsky, the daughter of a member of Merrill’s Marauders who fought in WWII, does not agree.

“The photo is truly iconic in American history and it symbolized so much to the ‘Greatest Generation.’
It just goes to show that the current administration is more focused on pushing political correctness on our military than ensuring we have the best-trained military in the world. We definitely need new leadership across the board,” she said.

Noveltsky is a candidate for the GOP nomination to take on Rep. Chris Pappas (D) in the First Congressional District, as is Derry businessman Chris Bright. Like Noveletsky, Bright is a veteran. He’s a West Point graduate who retired from the Army as a captain in 2005.

“My first thought was, ‘Are you kidding me?’ Where does the madness end?” Bright told NHJournal.

“I’m glad the VA secretary stood up and shot down the narrow, misguided worldview view of a small group of thin-skinned bureaucrats. If the woke left had their way, there would be nothing left to our American history and culture except the old brittle bones of a once great nation.”

Pappas, who serves on the House Committee for Veterans Affairs that oversees the VA, declined to comment for this story.

Sen. Maggie Hassan, who serves on the Senate’s Veterans Affairs Committee, was also a no comment.

While social media controversies are a daily occurrence, veteran New Hampshire GOP political strategist Pat Griffin said this sort of “mind-numbing elite wokeism” is a problem for Democrats.

“Regular people — actual human beings — look at this foolishness as a reminder of how out of touch Joe Biden and his leftwing supporters behave. And by the way–shouldn’t the VA have far more pressing concerns about those who served than this?” Griffin added.

While the issue of abortion and the GOP’s alleged extremism often dominate political media coverage, Democrats have been hurt by progressive politics on issues ranging from anti-Israel protests to opposition to immigration enforcement to the “defund the police” movement, to letting biological males compete in girl’s sports.

Polls show most Americans either believe both parties are equally extreme, or that the Democratic Party is more extreme than the GOP.

“There is a disconnect between the left and average voters that isolates today’s Democratic Party from the rest of America,” Griffin said.

As for the infamous kiss, according to the authors of “The Kissing Sailor: The Mystery Behind the Photo that Ended World War II,” the photo was taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt on August 14, 1945. The sailor was “part of Bull Halsey’s famous task force, survived the deadly typhoon that took the lives of hundreds of other sailors.” The nurse was “an Austrian Jew who lost her mother and father in the Holocaust.”

The sailor was on a date with his girlfriend at the time, who witnessed the spontaneous smooch. They eventually married.

State Rep. Michael Moffett (R-Loudon), a former Marine Corps officer, rejected the notion that consent was an issue in the kiss.

“This iconic photo was embraced by both participants. Everyone was kissing to celebrate the end of World War II,” Moffett said. “Another example of political correctness run amok.”

And apparently public displays of spontaneous affection aren’t just part of history.

“I was standing in a crowd above right field at Fenway Park in October 2003 when Trot Nixon hit an extra-inning homer to help the Sox beat Oakland in a playoff game. Some unknown woman jumped on me, hugged me, and then disappeared,” Moffett revealed.

“I was not offended.”