Thursday, November 12, 2009

American Legion Dropped From School Veterans' Day Ceremony Over Prayer

Minnesota's Bloomington School District this year used teams from the Minnesota Army National Guard to present arms and help raise the flag at Veterans' Day ceremonies at 15 district schools. Tuesday's Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported that school officials dropped the American Legion because it insisted that it would participate only if the ceremony included leading students in prayer. Elementary school principal Gail Swor raised questions after the Legion participant last year asked everyone to bow their heads in prayer. The VFW, which had also participated last year dropped, out this year in support of the Legion. The American Legion is also holding back on $25,000 to $30,000 in scholarships that it has traditionally awarded. American Legion Post commander and former Vietnam Army medic Terry Selle defended his position, saying: "We are not trying to push anything on kids or convert them, but we are a Christian-based country and a military based on Christian-based principles. My opinion is that this is another example of America going downhill." [Thanks to Scott Mange for the lead.]