[Vision2020] Soldier's Memorial to Get Wiccan Sign

Tom Hansen thansen at moscow.com
Thu Sep 14 12:00:59 PDT 2006

>From today's (September 14, 2006) Spokesman Review -

How dare the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs discriminate on grounds of
religious faith.  Death doesn't.


Soldier's memorial to get Wiccan sign 

September 14, 2006

The widow of a soldier killed in Afghanistan won state approval Wednesday to
place a Wiccan religious symbol on his memorial plaque, something the U.S.
Department of Veterans Affairs had refused.

"I'm honored and ecstatic. I've been waiting a year for this," Roberta
Stewart said from her home in Fernley, about 30 miles east of Reno.

Sgt. Patrick Stewart, 34, was killed in Afghanistan last September when a
rocket-propelled grenade struck his helicopter.

He was a follower of the Wiccan religion, which the U.S. Department of
Veterans Affairs does not recognize and therefore prohibits on veterans'
headstones in national cemeteries.

But state officials said they had received a legal opinion from the Nevada
attorney general's office that concluded federal officials have no authority
over state veterans' cemeteries. They plan to have a contractor construct a
plaque with the Wiccan pentacle to be added to the Veterans' Memorial Wall
in Fernley.


"Patriotism is not a short and frenzied outburst of emotion but the tranquil
and steady dedication of a lifetime." 

--Adlai E. Stevenson, Jr.

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