Well, I have been away from here for a few days and it shows, no new postings, no readers; oh well.
Just wanted folks to know that both the Yardley, PA, American Legion and VFW turned down my application to have a member of Pagan Veterans of the USA as part of their Memorial Day Honor Guard. I’ll post what there letters said soonest.
What’s really interesting is that on the morning of November 11 I was at the VFW Post returning some borrowed books when the Post Commander walks in, sees me in my black PVUSA Honor Guard uniform, and asks me if I’m willing to be a member of the Rifle Squad who will fire the salute. I was a little taken aback but then realized that he didn’t have a clue as to the implications of his invitation and my involvement (see the letters and you will understand).
Anyway, I agreed, and participated. The Rifle Squad did not march in the small parade from the Legion to the local memorial but, rather, waited at the memorial.
You have no idea how hard it was for me to keep a relatively straight face the rest of the day, during lunch, etc. I just wanted to cheer.
The reason, for those of you who missed it, is that by inviting me to participate, nearly every argument brought up in the rejection letters was blown to shreds. And as for the “Church/State” issue, the fact that the local Presbyterian minister delivered both an invocation and a benediction – well, so much for that fantasy. With all of this being out that brings the rejections down to either that the Legion and VFW don’t want any other groups getting involved in “their” parade and/or that they just don’t like the word “Pagan.”
This isn’t as simple as it seems. The Legion Post Commander told me that he would hesitate to allow Jewish War Veterans, Catholic War Veterans or even Vietnam Veterans of America to be part of their Honor Guard. In fact he would be hesitant to allow any of there organizations to be involved as a group. Go figure.