Wasserman Schultz on VA’s Nazi Headstone Removal Process
The families of soldiers who fought against intolerance and hatred must never be forced to confront glorification of those very ideologies when visiting their loved ones.
Washington DC – The U.S. House Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) released the following statement in response to the VA announcement today that it would begin the process to remove headstones bearing swastikas on Nazi soldiers’ graves that are buried in national veterans cemeteries in Texas and Utah:
“After his initial resistance during our MilCon/VA Appropriations hearing last week, I am grateful that Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie initiated the process required to replace German POW headstones that bear offensive swastika symbols and Nazi inscriptions honoring Hitler in our VA National Cemeteries. The families of soldiers who fought against intolerance and hatred must never be forced to confront glorification of those very ideologies when visiting their loved ones. VA’s initial decision to leave the gravestones in place was callous and irresponsible, but today’s decision is an honorable move in the right direction. I will eagerly monitor how VA moves forward with this process, including how they choose to provide historical context to enemy prisoners of war buried in U.S. Veterans cemeteries. We must make sure we don’t erect totems to intolerance, allowing their history to be studied without causing pain for those most affected by it. I am especially appreciative of the crucial, bipartisan support from my colleagues who joined me in this effort: House Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee Ranking Member John Carter (R-TX), full House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) and Ranking Member Kay Granger (R-TX).”The VA statement can be found here
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