Headstones with Two German WWII graves bearing Nazi swastikas have been removed from a National Cemetery in Texas and therefore they are replaced with new headstones. Part of a long controversy, the pair of headstones were seen as historical artifacts worth preserving or instead emblems of hate that should in fact be destroyed.
Work on Graves
Aubrey David, the cemetery director, lead several workers to the graves of German prisoners of war Alfred P. Kafka and Georg Forst around 8:15 a.m. last Wednesday.
It’s obviously the right thing to have been done. It clearly took a long time for this to happen, said Michael L. “Mikey” Weinstein. Weinstein is the founder and president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. This foundation is against unwanted religious proselytizing in the armed services.
Headstones Removed To Make Amends to U.S. Veterans and Their Families
Last May, after learning about the gravestones, the foundation insisted that Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilke order them removed. In fact, this group also wanted Wilke to make “an immediate and heartfelt apology to all United States veterans and their families.”
However, the VA refused. They said it had a responsibility to preserve “historic resources.” Though they acknowledge divisive historical figures or events. However, members of Congress in turn responded by demanding the removal of gravestones. Members of Congress include Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Representatives Will Hurd of San Antonio and Kay Granger of Fort Worth.
Chilling Reminder and Tragedy from Past History
I’m relieved that the headstones have been replaced, said Representative Joaquin Castro. It is very disturbing to think that symbols of the Third Reich and the Nazi regime would stand in an American military cemetery, Castro potently illustrated.
Replacing the Headstones
When the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs said would start the process of replacing the headstones in June. It is critical Americans must always remember the horrors of the Nazi Regime, said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. Many Americans gave up so much to free the world from its ruthless and murderous terror of oppressors. Obviously, it’s understandably upsetting and devastating to our veterans and their families to see Nazi inscriptions. This is very raw and starkly near to those who gave their lives for this nation. Therefore, that is why the VA will initiate the process required to replace these POW headstones.”