"Veterans Win Right to Post Religious Symbol on Headstones
In response to separate lawsuits filed by the ACLU and Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the Department of Veterans Affairs agreed to allow family members to include a Wiccan symbol on the headstones of deceased veterans.
The ACLU has long argued that veterans and their families should be free to choose religious symbols on military headstones -- whether Crosses, Stars of David, Pentacles, or other symbols -- and that the government should not be permitted to restrict such religious expression in federal cemeteries.
The ACLU lawsuit was filed on behalf of two churches and three individuals, including the mother of a soldier who was killed in action in Iraq in 2004. The National Cemetery Administration had previously approved 38 emblems of belief for veterans, encompassing a wide variety of religions, as well as symbols for atheists and secular humanists. Yet the agency had refused since the mid-1990s to act on requests by Wiccan families and clergy to approve use of the Pentacle.
Under the terms of the settlement, the Department of Veterans Affairs will add the Pentacle to its list of approved emblems of belief, and will provide Pentacle-engraved headstones and markers to the individual families who brought the ACLU and Americans United lawsuits."