Church and State
California American Legion has drawn a line in the sand in regards to a recent ban on reciting the meaning of the 13 folds during veterans’ funerals.
The group is calling on the Department of Veterans Affairs to reconsider the ban that effectively removes “God” from honor guard flag folding ceremonies at veterans’ funerals, as reported in WorldNetDaily.
As first reported in Riverside’s Press-Enterprise, a single complaint lodged against the words for the 11th fold during flag-folding recitations recently prompted the National Cemetery Administration to ban the entire recital at all 125 national cemeteries
The 11th fold celebrates Jewish war veterans and “glorifies the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.”
Several legion leaders say the ban might as well be rescinded, because it will be ignored anyway.
This from WorldNetDaily:
A memo from Steve Muro, director of the Veterans Affairs’ office of field programs, bans use of a recitation about the meaning of the 13 folds of the flag, which produce the famous star-covered triangle. The recitation references God several times.
“Effective immediately all national cemeteries are to refrain from distributing any handouts on ‘The Meaning of Each Fold of an Honor Guard Funeral Flag,’ remove any postings from all cemetery buildings and discontinue our VA-Sponsored Volunteer Honor Guards from using the handout as a script at a committal service during the folding of the flag,” the directive said.
“We in the California American Legion have called on the VA to reconsider and rescind its outrageous ban and allow the families of the deceased veterans to determine what will or will not be included in the military funeral service,” said Rees Lloyd, director of the Defense of Veterans Memorials Project for the American Legion Department of California.
“Our American Legion Riverside Post 79 MHD Team 12 has also stated we will defy the ban and follow the wishes of the families,” he said. “Such issues should be decided by the veterans’ families, not by bureaucrats and lawyers in Washington, D.C., covering their own behinds in [fear] of lawsuits by the ACLU and others of its ilk on behalf of disgruntled atheists, agnostics, liberal secular-cleansing fanatics, or Islamist jihadists who are offended by references to God.
“We will defy them and the VA itself and conduct the military services as the families dictate, not as government bureaucrats and bureaucratic lawyers dictate,” he said.
The folds, they say, represent:
1. Symbol of life
2, Symbol of our belief in eternal life
3. In honor and remembrance of the veteran departing our ranks who gave a portion of his life for the defense of our country to attain a peace throughout the world
4. Our weaker nature, for as American citizens trusting in God, it is to Him we turn in times of peace as well as in times of war for His divine guidance
5. A tribute to our country, for in the words of Stephen Decatur, ‘Our country, in dealing with other countries, may she always be right; but it is still our country, right or wrong’
6. Where our hearts lie. It is with our heart that we pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
7. A tribute to our armed forces.
8. A tribute to the one who entered into the valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day, and to honor mother, for whom it flies on Mother’s Day.
9. A tribute to womanhood
10. A tribute to father
11. In the eyes of a Hebrew citizen, represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon, and glorifies, in their eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
12. In the eyes of a Christian citizen, represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in their eyes, God the Father, the Son and Holy Ghost.
13. When the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost, reminding us of our national motto, ‘In God We Trust’”
It was No. 11 that caused the problem, according to Muro’s memo.