Saturday, March 12, 2016

POW-MIA Traditional Bible Removed from Akron VA

Seems really odd that a tradition that goes back decades suddenly offends a few and is removed while the multitudes finding comfort in the remembrance were forgotten about in a POW-MIA remembrance display.
Bible removed from Akron Veterans Affairs display causes uproar
By Amanda Garrett
Beacon Journal staff writer
March 11, 2016

A small dining table in Akron set up to remember soldiers who never came home — those missing in action or taken prisoner during war — has set off a large national battle over religious symbols in government spaces.
Everything on the POW-MIA table, a tradition since the Vietnam War, is a symbol: The white tablecloth represents the purity of the soldiers’ duty. Salt on a bread plate represents tears shed by soldiers’ families. A Bible has represented faith.

But not all POW-MIAs are Christian.

And when a local soldier, permanently disabled in Afghanistan, saw a red New Testament Bible on a POW-MIA table in the lobby of the Akron Veterans Affairs health care facility last month, he was troubled.

“I know for a fact that all POW-MIAs were not Christian because my grandfather was MIA from World War II and he was Jewish,” the disabled soldier said this week during an interview.

He reached out to a nonprofit that fights for the religious rights of the U.S. armed forces, which in turn contacted the administrator of the Akron VA.

Within days, the Bible was gone.
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