Suing the VA over Nazi Symbols in National Veterans Cemeteries

I am a highly decelerated Vietnam veteran and I love my country.
If you all sue the VA that will tell me you are not a soldier, get a life.
That man in that grave has every right to be identified as a soldier that fought for his country.  I support the VA in not changing the grave stones.  As a matter of fact I may just help the VA in keeping the head stones as they are.
(name withheld)

Response from MRFF Board Member John Compere
On May 20, 2020, at 6:07 PM, John Compere  wrote:


First & foremost, thank you for your military service.
Swastikas are symbols of horrible hatred & horrendous holocaust of 6 million Jewish children, women & men by the psychopath Hitler & his Nazi henchmen. Swastikas also serve as rallying signs for neo-Nazis & white supremacists whose stated goal is to kill American Jews. National data shows hate crimes against Jewish people & property are increasing. Germany even bans public displays of Swastikas & makes it a crime.
Swastikas & Aryan accolades have no place on grave headstones in American military cemeteries with Americans who fought in World War II (over 400,000 sacrificed their lives) to defeat the evil Third Reich whose leader was the Fuhrer, symbol the Swastika & central ideological feature the extermination of all human beings born of Jewish mothers (like Jesus).
Do you feel the same about Islamic jihad terrorists & gravestones displaying Al Qaeda symbols & praising Osama bin Laden in American military cemeteries with Americans who sacrificed their lives (over 8,000 to date) fighting the War on Terrorism? If so, we definitely have a disagreement about grave headstones in American military cemeteries. If not, you should reconsider the inconsistency in your position.
Brigadier General John Compere, US Army (Retired)
Disabled American Veteran (Vietnam Era)
Board Member, Military Religious Freedom Foundation (over 80% Christians)

Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Mike Farrell

On May 20, 2020, at 8:37 PM, Mike  wrote:

Hi (name withheld),

I’m not sure what “decelerated” means in connection with your service in Vietnam, but thanks for it.
As regards your concern about the Nazi symbols in the VA cemetery, please see the attached.
Mike Farrell
(MRFF Board of Advisors)

I am impressed with your family’s military history and I thank all of them for their service.  Like some of them I paid for our freedom several time with my blood on the battlefield.  I was a Platoon Sergeant, 2rd Platoon, A Company 3rd Battalion, 47th Infantry, 9th Division (Mobile Riverine Force).  I too am a Disabled American Veteran but still I find it somewhat hard to understand why a family’s with your background look to change the fact that these solders were Nazis.  No one knows why they fought for Nazis Germany but they did and I think everyone that will see these graves from now to eternity will hopefully remember the dark time.

Everyone has an opinion about everything and they should.  I think that the Nazis rule in Germany was one of the darkest time in the history of the world.  The grave stone should be kept as is.

This is my opinion, hope it has some impact on the Military Religious Freedom Foundation in the future.

(name withheld)

Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Martin France
On May 21, 2020, at 8:05 AM, Martin France  wrote:


  (name withheld), thanks for your note and your service. I get your point and can actually see the argument that KEEPING the swastikas reminds people of the heinous nature of the Nazis.  However, I think that including the hateful symbology of regimes such as this is even more damaging.  It’s not done in European graves of Nazi soldiers (Luxembourg, France, or Belgium) and it’s not even done in Germany, where the symbol is outlawed.  We don’t know the individual motivation of these soldiers, but they did put on the uniform that they MUST have known was based on a gross, racist policy that killed non-Germans and others.  That’s why we advocate simply replacing the headstones or removing the swastikas-no disrespecting the grave or desecrating it.  Think about this way–we wouldn’t put an Al Qaeda flag on the grave of a terrorist held in Guantanamo Bay if they died in captivity–and we certainly wouldn’t (today at least) bury them among our heroes in a VA cemetery.  Just that analog should inform what we do with these Nazi headstones.
Thanks again for your note!
M France
Brig Gen, USAF (Retired)
MRFF Advisory Board Member

Response from MRFF Advisory Board Member Mike Farrell
On May 21, 2020, at 11:01 AM, Mike  wrote:

Hi (name withheld),
Of course you opinion has an impact on the MRFF. Every message is seriously considered, but the attitude
expressed in your initial message wasn’t either appropriate nor, frankly, was it worthy of you. Thank you for this
more thoughtful response.
Please understand that no one here is interested in changing the fact that the German soldiers buried with our
vets in the VA cemetery fought on the side of the Nazis. These men should be seen for what they were, for good
or ill. However, that can quite easily be accomplished without brandishing the symbols of the hateful cause for which
they fought and publishing messages of devotion to Der Fuhrer, the architect of one of the most grievously evil acts
in human history.
We appreciate this expression of your view, however we disagree about the symbols and laudatory comments. One
can respect that some may have fought bravely for what they were led to believe, but we refuse to salute, honor or
respect their cause.
You may note as well that neither the German Government nor cemeteries controlled by them allow such symbols.
They have learned their lesson.
Mike Farrell
(MRFF Board of Advisors)

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  1. Jeffrey Rodgers

    Any person who was willing to stand up and fight for their country, and their beliefs should be treated with the same dignity and respect as those of us who stood against them. I have no issue whatsoever sharing space with a Japanese Soldier, Nazi Soldier, Afghan, Iraqi, or anyone else. In fact, it’s a honor to share space with those who are willing to die for what they believe.

    However, we have a Air Force Commissioned Officer who has most likely never been in the trenches against an “enemy,” choosing who good enough to be treated as a Veteran. The fact that you’re taking away from a fellow combat veteran shows the respect you lack for our own veterans. Is this the respect you think should be shown to our WW II vets who are still interred overseas?

    What’s next? When I die, will your organization fight to refuse my upside down cross since I’m not some judgmental Christian?

  2. A.L. Hern

    “I am a highly decelerated Vietnam veteran and I love my country.
    If you all sue the VA that will tell me you are not a soldier, get a life.”

    You’re “highly decelerated”? Are you saying that you are mentally slow? Judging by the above, I can believe it.

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