Thursday, November 08, 2007

VA Allows God Back Into Flag-Folding Ceremony

A nationwide uproar has caused the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to "clarify" its position — and allow the mention of God back into the flag-folding ceremony at military funerals.

From "Good News! VA Allows God Back Into Flag-Folding Ceremony" by Jennifer Mesko, posted 10/31/07 at

A VA official had pulled the recitation from ceremonies at national cemeteries last month after a single complaint was filed with the White House over the phrase accompanying the 11th fold that mentions "the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob," Fox News reported.

Under the VA's "clarification," volunteer honor guards "are authorized to read the so-called '13-fold' flag recitation or any comparable script," though "survivors of the deceased need to provide material and request it be read."

“A family may request the recitation of words to accompany the meaningful presentation of the American flag as we honor the dedication and sacrifice of their loved ones,” said William F. Tuerk, the VA’s undersecretary for Memorial Affairs, in a statement Tuesday.

Rees Lloyd, a member of the American Legion's Memorial Honor Detail for services at Riverside National Cemetery in California, said he's pleased with the decision.

"We're gratified that the Veterans Administration bureaucrats have realized that their knee-jerk reaction to the complaint of a single complainant … was an error," he told Family News in Focus. "They are trying desperately to cover their tracks."

Read the rest of this article.