Congressman Vern Buchanan

Representing the 16th District of Florida

Staying Put! Buchanan Applauds City Commission for Voting to Keep Statue on Bayfront

Nov 17, 2020
Press Release

SARASOTA, Fla – Congressman Vern Buchanan today applauded the Sarasota City Commission’s decision to officially keep the “Unconditional Surrender” statue on Sarasota’s Bayfront.

 The statue symbolizes the end of World War II and should be celebrated, not relegated to a less prominent location,” Buchanan said. “I applaud the commission for listening to the will of the people.“ 

 In September, Buchanan sent a letter to the city commissioner urging them to keep the statue on the Bayfront. In his letter, Buchanan highlighted the statue’s significance to veterans and its popularity among area residents and visitors.

The importance of the statue to area veterans was conveyed to Buchanan in a letter from Carlos J. Moreira, president of the Sarasota County Veterans Commission: “As Chair of the Sarasota County Veterans Commission, I want to truly thank Congressman Vern Buchanan for his support in keeping the Unconditional Surrender Statue here in Sarasota and on our Bayfront. Vern has always been a strong advocate and supporter for our veteran community. Unconditional Surrender represents a historic celebration of the end of World War II. The statue means so much to our veterans, to our community, and to our city.”

Buchanan said an on-line survey he conducted in August of people he represents showed nearly 90 percent support for keeping the statue where it has been for more than a decade. “I heard from thousands of people in our community who strongly supported keeping the statue on prominent display at the Bayfront,” Buchanan said. “The statue is also a reminder to younger residents of the sacrifices made to win a war that claimed so many lives.“

The 26-foot-tall “Unconditional Surrender” statue is based on an iconic photograph depicting the joyous celebration of the end of World War II. 

Construction of a new roundabout on U.S. 41 and Gulfstream Avenue forced the city to find a new site for the statue. The commission debated putting the statue in storage while the construction was ongoing or moving it to a less prominent location before deciding to keep it on the bayfront between O’Leary’s Tiki Bar and Grill and Marina Jack. The construction project is scheduled to begin this January and may take 18 months to complete.  

Buchanan represents more than 88,000 veterans in Southwest Florida.