Thursday, November 01, 2007

Fax To Veterans Affairs Asking For Rescinsion Of Flag Folding Memo

The VA Secretary For Memorial Affairs, William Tuerk, has not rescinded the memo which outlawed the mentioning of God in the veteran's flag folding ceremony. There was an adjustment made by the VA which vaguely authorizes the traditional language if requested by the veteran or his family at the time of burial. Active duty Military Honor Guards may still be prohibited from using the standard language in the ceremony.

"At issue is the "13-fold recital" sometimes read by members of an honor guard as an American flag is folded at a veteran's graveside.
At each fold of the flag concepts including life, country and heart are invoked, as well as God. There are separate references to the Jewish God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and to the Christian trinity.
It was the 11th fold, which when honoring Jewish veterans, makes a reference to the God of Abraham, that provoked a complaint, Mondello said. The complaint focused not on the content of the recital but on an error in the text used by cemetery volunteers which identified Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as gods."

The VA needs to still hear from anyone concerned about this bureacratic snafu which was initiated because of just one complaint. Fax the Secretary of Veterans Affairs Jim Nicholson or Under Secretary William Tuerk at 1-202-273-4880. My fax below.

DEAR @R; As a disabled in Vietnam, retired Marine, I would like to express my deep regret that Mr. William Tuerk, the Secretary For Veterans Affairs, has decided to eliminate the solemnity from the Veterans Flag Folding Ceremony by negating any reference to even a generic God - all because of one complaint from Riverside, California - which is on fire at this very moment.

He could at least have allowed for each and every veteran or family to request the inclusion of the language which honors the veteran's God.
I understand that Mr. Tuerk is an "bioethicist" as well as a lawyer. This may explain why such poor judgment was made.

The overwhelming majority of veterans that I fought with in Vietnam were doing so for "God and Country." I am sorry that Veterans Affairs may think that unethical, but that was the case.

I will be also forwarding this to President Bush as well as members of Congress.
May I say, God Bless?JC Akron OH