Today, the House passed the Dignified Burial of Veterans Act of 2012 by a vote of 393-0. The bill included language from Rep. Culberson's bill that protects the religious freedoms of our veterans by preventing the federal government from interfering with funeral services. Today's vote sends the bill to the president for his signature.
"The First Amendment is first for a reason," said Rep. Culberson. "Limiting the free speech of any American is outrageous and unconstitutional, but it is especially offensive to restrict that right of veterans when they have fought and sacrificed to defend those rights. I personally attended a funeral service at the Houston National Cemetery and was horrified to witness the censorship firsthand. Members of the honor guard from the Veterans of Foreign Wars were there performing the funeral ritual. Cemetery officials instructed the commander of the honor guard to confront a grieving widow as she approached her husband's grave site to reconfirm that she wanted the word God mentioned during the service. Right in front of me, VA officials deliberately attempted to prevent the VFW from doing their magnificent, spiritual ritual over the grave of this fallen hero.
"I am very pleased that these common sense protections will be sent to the president to be signed into law so that no veteran or veteran's family will ever suffer such religious censorship at the behest of our federal government again."