Way back in November 2000 the American Veterans for Equal Rights (AVER) along with the Arizona Rainbow Veterans were instrumental in erecting the first ever memorial to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered veterans in a National Cemetery.
Which I thought was a terrific way to honor the sacrifice of those soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines who had given their lives for a country that wasn't ready to accept them even though they were willing to sacrifice themselves for it.
But what do I know? Leave it to the Religious Right to gin itself up in a sweaty lather over it. Surprisingly, though, it took them long enough to get around to it (unless I've missed something in the meantime -- only Michele "I'm-an-irritating-homophobic-moron-AND-I-play-one-on-tv" Malkin seems to have had much to say about it) but now someone named "Bill" is circulating by viral email the following letter, which I got to see when it was sent to Veterans and Military Families for Progress, a national progressive (i.e. liberal) veterans group that I belong to:
From: Bill <mailto:email@example.com>I have no idea who this "Bill" is, but he's obviously received an extra heaping helping of homophobic hatred ("Pedophiles"? "Sodomites"? Jeez, come on, Bill...) when it comes to honoring the sacrifice of some veterans. Since he's sending this out for people to contact the government officials listed, there's nothing to stop us from contacting those same individuals and make our voices heard on the other side.
Sent: Wednesday, April 29, 2009 3:14 PM
Subject: VA CEMETERY
Arizona National Veterans cemetery desecrated
National cemeteries were established as national shrines in tribute to the gallant dead who have served in the Armed Forces of the United States of America. In 2001 a group of Dishonorably discharged sodomites the Arizona Rainbow Veterans with the help of corrupt Government officials in direct violation of The National Cemetery Regulations Title 36 and NPS 61 erected a Memorial to all gay, lesbian, Pedophile, bisexual and trans-gender veterans. This repugnant horror now sits on sacred ground along Purple heart drive in founders plaza only yards from the original flagpole from the main deck of the battleship Arizona were 1,177 men died in action on Dec 7th 1941.
We living Veterans that remain must speak for the thousands of silenced lips forever stilled amongst the jungles, deserts, beaches and the deep waters. We must stand together once more for future generations of our Sons and Daughters, for the Widows and Orphans of our dead we must fight, for the solemn dignity of their final resting place.
In the name of almighty God Let no heart be faint, let every arm be Steele. For to do otherwise a million ghosts in olive drab in brown khaki and blue and camouflage will rise from their white crosses and bronze markers thundering those eternally sacred words-
DUTY HONOR COUNTRY
All gave some ,some gave all, For your tomorrow they gave their today.
Please call and speak for them. Please make this telephone call!!!!
Demand the immediate removal of the Gay, Lesbian, Pedophile, Bisexual,and Trans gender monument. The cemetery should be used to honor the dead not glorify or even mention someones sexual practices, What's next a monument for those that practice bestiality, fecalphilia, necrophilia?
Why not it's a sexual lifestyle preference ? This is ridiculous!! and a shameful way to treat our dead Vets!!!!!!!!
House committee on veteran affairs
335 Cannon House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515
The Administration Office of the Arizona National Cemetery
Mr. Wayne Ellis
Mr. Pat Hallinan
Veterans Administration Secretary firstname.lastname@example.org
General Eric Shinseki 202-461-4800
· Here's the email of General Shinseki: email@example.com.
· And here's the list of members of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs.
I don't have emails for the two guys at the national cemetery -- if anyone has them, let me know and I'll post them here. In the meantime, a phone call will do.