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More government foolishness (update)
Posted by: McQ on Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I've been watching this develop over the past week. It concerns a spoken recital during a flag ceremony at burials in which some religious themes are expressed. As usual, the knee-jerk reaction of the government, through the National Cemetary Administration, was to ban such religious mentions during flag folding ceremonies at all National Cemeteries based on a single complaint.
Area veterans say they disagree with a recent federal decision to ban a spoken recital, which incorporates religious themes, from being used at some military funerals during the flag-folding ceremony.

National Cemetery Administration spokesman Mike Nacincik said the 13-fold recital is not part of the U.S. Flag Code and is not government approved.

According to United Press International, the ban followed a complaint over religious content in the words.
Now I have to ask, why is it alright to put religious symbols on the government provided headstone and have a minister of your chosen religion give the service at graveside, but somehow mentioning that same religion in a flag folding ceremony has to be "government approved"?

This is simple foolishness. Since when does someone being "offended" take priority over the wishes of the family of the deceased in a grave-side ceremony?

It seems to me, within reason, such decisions as to what will or won't happen in such a ceremony should be the exclusive decision of the family. If the person is being buried as a Christian or a Jew or whatever, by an official of that religion, what in the world is the problem with mentioning that in a flag folding ceremony? If someone was going to be "offended" by that, I'd have to assume they were already offended by the religion of the deceased and the ceremony taking place prior to the flag folding.

If that's the case, my simple advice to them would be stay home. If you're that easily offended you just don't belong out in public. And you certainly have no right to inflict your prejudices and fears on others who are simply trying as best they can to honor someone they love appropriately at their burial ceremony.

UPDATE: Feeling the heat:
“Honoring the burial wishes of veterans is one of the highest commitments for the men and women of VA,” said William F. Tuerk, the VA’s Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs, in a statement released late Tuesday. “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.”
The right decision.
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."
Fair enough.

(HT: looker)
 
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If that’s the case, my simple advice to them would be stay home. If you’re that easily offended you just don’t belong out in public. And you certainly have no right to inflict your prejudices and fears on others who are simply trying as best they can to honor someone they love appropriately at their burial ceremony.
Wait, are you trying to tell me it’s not actually all about me?
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
"survivors of the deceased need to provide material and request it be read."
Emphasis above mine. I tend to disagree with this decision based on the bolded statement that the members of the deceased need to provide the materials. I think the honor guard should be allowed to provide the materials which the family can then choose to use or omit.

Also I think a service member when they are setting up their ’affairs’ should be able to indicate any specific instructions related to their ceremony including this portion with the option to omit or include it regardless of the "wishes" of their next of kin.
 
Written By: BIllS
URL: http://bills-opinions.blogspot.com
Emphasis above mine. I tend to disagree with this decision based on the bolded statement that the members of the deceased need to provide the materials. I think the honor guard should be allowed to provide the materials which the family can then choose to use or omit.
And you don’t think that will happen prior to the service when the honor guard rep discusses the ceremony with the family?

Easy stuff. The HG rep hands the family a copy of the flag-folding ceremony. The family writes their name at the top of the copy and hand it back. "Material provided by family."

Next problem.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Since when does someone being "offended" take priority over the wishes of the family of the deceased in a grave-side ceremony?
Since for a long time, if not in funerals, then in just about everything else. Where are the easily offended NOT allowed to dictate what is and what isn’t allowed?
 
Written By: Steve Sturm
URL: http://
Where are the easily offended NOT allowed to dictate what is and what isn’t allowed?
Apparently since I updated the post. ;-)
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
But McQ, Fox this AM interviewed a guy who, since he recieves veteran’s benifits, in the past hasn’t qualified as a volunteer, but as an employee.

So those VA guys who do burials wouldn’t be allowed to read this.

And that’s most of who does read it.

Why couldn’t they have responded with something sane, like "Don’t like the recitation? Tough. Cope."
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
Not in any ceremony I’ve ever been involved with. Usually the military or a vets organization takes care of the flag. The VA cemetery rep stands around with his thumb in an appropriate orifice and makes sure everything goes smoothly. But the family sets up the events (and who is going to carry them out) at the funeral. At least that’s how it worked when I did both of my parents funerals at a National Cemetery.
Why couldn’t they have responded with something sane, like "Don’t like the recitation? Tough. Cope."
Or, alternatively, "thanks for your input" and then forgotten about it?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Or, alternatively, "thanks for your input" and then forgotten about it?
I think the proper translation is "We will take it under advisement."

And when I said VA Rep, I mean Vet organization. Guy looked like he was a Korea vet, if he was that young.
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://

 
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