Vets plan to ignore ban on flag-folding recitations
An American Legion commander in California says he and other veterans will defy a newly imposed ban on flag-folding recitations that include references to God.
During thousands of military burials, Veterans Administration employees and volunteers have folded the American flag 13 times and recited the significance of every fold to survivors. The fourth fold, for example, refers to God's "divine guidance." The 11th fold glorifies "the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob." And the 12th fold glorifies "God the Father, the Son and Holy Ghost." Now the National Cemetery Association has made a decision to ban flag-folding recitations by VA employees and volunteers at all 125 national cemeteries -- all because of one complaint about a ceremony at Riverside National Cemetery in California that included a reference to God.
Rees Lloyd is director of the California Defense of Veterans Memorials Project and part of a 16-member detail that has performed military honors at more than 1,400 services. He says veterans -- and in particular, American Legionnaires -- are outraged by the ban.
"It's outrageous," he says bluntly. "These are decisions that should be made by the families of our deceased veteran comrades and not by Washington bureaucrats -- and most certainly not by any narcissistic, disaffected, offended atheist, agnostic, or any other [person] who is upset or offended by the word 'God' or a religious symbol which might offend his delicate sensibilities."
Lloyd vows that even if there are "a hundred-million offended atheists," he and other American Legionnaires will stand against the ban.
"We will defy this ban, pure and simple," he states. "If the families ask us to recite the flag-folding ceremony, we will abide by the wishes of the family -- not [by the wishes of] some bureaucrat sitting in an air-conditioned office in Washington, DC, or some lawyer wearing a diaper back there whose main mission in life is to protect his own behind instead of standing up for the American people and saying enough is enough."
Lloyd, who is a California civil rights attorney, says he and his allies at the Alliance Defense Fund are considering their legal options. One News Now