Memorial Day prayer excludes non-Christians | AspenTimes.com

Memorial Day prayer excludes non-Christians

Dear Editor:

In the past, the veterans’ memorial celebration held in the county’s open space at the courthouse has been a wonderful event honoring those who have served our country. However, last year, the program included the reciting of a Christian prayer. That is one aspect of the Memorial Day ceremony that I would like to see changed.

According to recent information from the U.S. Department of Defense, 29 percent of those currently serving in the U.S. military are not Christian. Delivering a sectarian prayer at this event excludes soldiers of different faiths and those who are non-believers.

Our military fights to protect the many freedoms we celebrate in America, one of these being religious liberty. The recitation of a Christian prayer at this event does not honor this freedom. Instead, it sends the message that non-Christians are outsiders in their own country.

This Memorial Day, I ask that we keep divisive religious practices out of the ceremony. Let’s pay tribute to all of our veterans for their dedication and bravery. I think that we can all agree that no matter what a soldier’s personal beliefs, each deserves to be saluted.

Bill Wiener

Aspen


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