Officials with the Veterans Administration (VA) have clarified a directive limiting the use of a religious recitation at flag-folding ceremonies during military funerals. And a replica of the cap on the Washington Monument will be rebuilt so a God-honoring phrase is visible. The founder of the American Family Association (AFA) credits public outcry in both cases.
Last month, a senior VA official told directors of the agency's 125 cemeteries not to distribute or post non-government handouts on "The Meaning of Each Fold of an Honor Guard Funeral Flag." The memo also said the handout should not be recited at graveside services by cemetery workers or by VA-sponsored volunteer honor guards. The recitations include references to "the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob" and to "the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost."
Public outcry was swift, with more than 200,000 emails sent to the VA. Now a VA spokesperson says volunteer honor guards may recite any text requested by next of kin.