Dear Editor,

Re: Godless Humanist Group Seeks to Tear Down WWI Memorial

Veterans who stand among us, as well as those who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country, deserve our respect and recognition. Any memorial with the purpose of honoring such soldiers mustn’t exclude some in favor of others, but instead acknowledge all who have served. The Bladensburg cross’s clear endorsement of Christianity falls down in this regard, failing to honor the thousands of non-Christian soldiers who have fought and died on both foreign and domestic soil.

Since the American Revolution, governments at every level built thousands of war memorials that are both constitutional and inclusive. These obelisks, pedestals, plaques and other memorials recognize the service of all veterans, regardless of their faith or lack thereof. In contrast, fundraising for the Bladensburg cross included a pledge to trust in God, the dedication of the cross was marked by both an invocation and a benediction by Christian leaders, and religious services continue to be held at the government-owned monument.

The American Humanist Association urges the government to heed lower the court’s rulings, Supreme Court precedent, the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, and the calls of non-Christian veterans and active service members to erect an inclusive monument that truly honors those who’ve bravely put us and our freedom before themselves.

Roy Speckhardt

Executive Director, American Humanist Association

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