Today as I was driving into the city, I passed under a bridge, on which stood an older man with a big huge American Flag waving to the passing cars.
“Oh,” I said to Julia. “Veteran’s day.”
It was too late to honk or flash my lights at the old Legionnaire in appreciation for his service. But then later on I heard about a story that made me glad I didn’t. I’ve had a long and ambivalent relationship with both the VFW and the American Legion. And for the most part, they can kiss my ass. Here’s the latest reason why:
American Legion Post 550, of Bloomington, Minnesota, has been carrying out a ceremony in the Bloomington School district on Veterans day for some years now, and they also provide the school with between 25 and 30 thousand dollars in scholarships. (Such scholarships would typically be provided for graduating seniors for college expenses, which is actually a highly questionable practice that we can talk about some other time.)
The ceremony which has been carried out for several years was altered last year to include prayers. The school officials did not expect the prayer to be part of the ceremonies.
“Frankly, it caught me off guard because they had never done that before. We do not do that in public school,” said Poplar Bridge Elementary School Principal Gail Swor, according to a piece in the Star Tribune.
This year, the legion was asked to not include the prayer, and their response was absurd, spiteful, and destructive.
“My guys say if they can’t do the ceremony they’ve done for 40 years, they won’t do it,” said Terry Selle, commander of American Legion Post 550. The Legion also will hold back scholarships estimated at $25,000 to $30,000.
Somebody’s not telling the truth. The important thing, from the American Legion’s point of view, is:
1) Prayer be forced, contrary to the Constitution of the United States of America, into public schools; and
2) If the American Legion does not get its way in this regard, the students who would have gotten those scholarship won’t get the scholarships.
Fuck you, American Legion. No veteran’s day best wishes for you.
Please read the original story at the Star Tribune, and consider leaving comments. Right now the comments are of this caliber:
“I see nothing wrong with a non-demoninational prayer for such a solemn day.”
“When will we realize this nation was founded on biblical principals and our schools were started to train children in the truth about our history. Prayer was a big part of that history and should continue to be a choice in a “free” nation.”
“Kudos to the American Legion, VFW and Shame on you Bloomington public schools.”
As you can see, your input is needed.