VIRGINIA BEACH, VA – In response to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recent announcement that it will legally begin the process to replace three German prisoners of war headstones in national cemeteries in Texas and Utah which are adorned with offensive symbols from the Nazi Regime, Congresswoman Luria and House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Takano released the following statement.
“VA’s core values are integrity, commitment, advocacy, respect, and excellence. To act respectfully is to ‘treat all those I serve and whom I work with dignity and respect.’ Those who honorably served in defense of our nation are worthy of the utmost, unwavering respect both in life and in death. These veterans and their families deserve a final resting place free of any symbols of hatred. WhileVA previously defended these symbols as historic and deserving of equal consideration as the graves of American heroes, we are pleased that Secretary Wilkie has reconsidered especially when violent acts of white supremacy, racism, and anti-Semitism are on the rise. American veterans are a group that represent this country’s broad diversity and should feel honored as equals. There is no better time to demonstrate solidarity and strength in leadership by expelling emblems of prejudice.”