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Issue Position: Preserving the 13-Fold Flag Recitation

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Veterans' organizations across the Nation provide funeral honors for veterans' services at national cemeteries, including the folding and presentation of the flag, the recitation of the flag-folding steps (known as the 13-fold flag recitation) and the playing of Taps. In response to one complaint last year, the Department of Veterans' Affairs briefly prohibited the flag-folding recitation at funerals. Only in response to the national outrage did the VA reverse its policy, allowing the 13-fold flag recitation to be performed at funerals if requested by the family of the deceased. Grieving families should not have to remember to request the 13-fold flag recitation; the recitation of the flag-folding steps should be offered to them. The choice should belong to the family of the deceased. That is why I introduced H.R. 4781, a bill that requires the VA to offer families the choice of whether or not to have the ceremony and let the decision rest with the families and not the bureaucrats here in Washington.


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