Victims' Rights Caucus

Speeches

VETERANS

Nov 04 2011

Washington, Nov. 4 -

Mr. Speaker, during the hot days of last summer, the Veterans of Foreign Wars went to battle with the VA. The VFW claimed the VA was censoring free speech and preventing the free exercise of religion at the National Cemetery in Houston.

The VFW says the chapel at the cemetery was closed. The Bible, Cross and Star of David were removed and the chapel became a storage shed.

VFW members also said the Director of the Cemetery censored prayers and prohibited the religious ceremony during the burial of Veterans.

The VFW sued and the VA naturally denied the whole thing.

Recently a Federal Judge approved an agreed to an order requiring the Chapel to be reopened, the Bible, Cross and Star of David returned and said that the VA must not interfere with free speech or the free exercise of religion at burials.

Mr. Speaker, it is ironic that Americans have gone to war and fought for the principals of the Constitution. Then when they come home they face a government that is hostile and denial of First Amendment rights when they are buried at VA cemeteries.

Now, the veterans have won a battle against a government that wanted to deny them the American freedoms they fought for in lands far, far away.

And thatís just the way it is.