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Supreme Court Ruling Prevents Veterans from Praying at School Function

HAWLEY — “O God of host we bow our heads in thankfulness for the victories thou has granted us.”

It’s a Veterans Day prayer that is heard all over the country on this day.

Members of American Legion Post 311 in Hawley recite it every year at its Veterans Day ceremony in Bingham Park.

Some members were hoping the legions chaplain could read the prayer at Wallenpaupack Area High School’s Veterans Day Ceremony.

School officials said it’s not allowed because of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

“It’s asahme that the schools are not allowed to have prayer anymore because one or two athiests in this country,” American Legion Post 311 Chaplain, Joseph Mundy said.

Some members of Post 311 said they are upset with the schools decision.

Because of that, they will not be marching in the ceremony this year.

“I think everyone should be offended that we cannot do this,” George Hibbs, Past Commander of Post 311 said.

Members of American Legion Post 311 in Hawley said it’s upsetting that they won’t be attending Wallenpaupacks Veterans Day ceremony because of the prayer conflict.

Members hope in years to come some changes can be made so they can once again interact with kids on Veterans Day.

“I hope so. It would mean a lot to both, not only us the veterans but also the children coming into this world,” Mundy said.

Dana Wolf, a military mom with two sons overseas says she will attend the ceremony with her husband who is an American Legion member.

Other legion members say they can only hope for change in the future so they can once again march at the ceremony.

30 comments

  • Cathy

    Time for our Revolution to kick in, Take back the Country built on Christian values and Traditions without being subjected to ridicule , threats, and Government interference. And BTW , Freedom OF Religion– is NOT the same as Freedom FROM Religion. Those who do not hold with our Values Morals and Traditions should leave this Country now…I consider you all traitors.

  • Lynda Rosencrans

    Actually, this is a perfect example of where 2 wrongs don’t make a right. The “day” and the ceremony / festivities should have been paramount. If the traditional prayer was that important, they could have printed it off, given out copies and had a moment of silence – and achieved the same goal without punishing the kids and detracting from the purpose of the holiday.

    • Sue A Smith

      Actually handing out a prayer to every person in school would get the school in more trouble. Personally, I agree with the American Legion. Our country was built on Christianity-doesn’t state one religion so it could be Lutherans, Protestants, Catholics, Baptists, Jewish, and others. Saying a prayer to God means to pray to your own God. I think there is one God and we all believe in Him differently. So yes, it is the Atheists that prevent pray in school.

  • Michael Santos

    It’s amazing that the writer of this article doesn’t know how to use a spellchecker. That said, I think its a disgrace that they treated these veterans this way. The veterans should have proceeded with their prayer anyways, what are they going to do to them, arrest them? This is their day and that should be the end of it.

  • justapatriot

    I go to events and have to listen to drivel from non believers all the time. It’s called tolerance. But if you want me to have tolerance for you, you need to show tolerance for me. It’s as simple as that.

  • backwards

    The Irony, Veterans who fought for our freedom and 1st amendment rights, can’t pray on veterans day in public and exercise those rights… Wow something many should wake up to and see the law or courts shouldn’t be allowed in matters such as this! Its a one sided law and they should not be allowed to have any say in a persons rights. If people are offended they can go elsewhere til its over, both sides should respect each other and their beliefs and be done with it.

    • Steven Stevens

      so you think that you can exercise your right to tell people who disagree with you to go some where else so that you can remain and pray…but they cannot remain and contribute to the program without having their rights refused…I think that you are wrong in this instance…

      • Fran Boyle

        I think its Veteran’s Day, they have a right to do the program the way they see fit. The others who are offended are the ones that probably could use a little prayer in their life’s. And I dont attend church reguarly but do believe people have the right to do what they have been doing for years

  • Alex1234

    What a disappointment to think that it’s more important for these veterans to make a statement than it is to interact with kids. Really? These people cannot pray in their heads? They have to have it spoken? So much for freedom.

    • bwark

      Sure Alex, those Veterans that fought for all the freedoms that we have here, should just shut up and do what you expect them to do. Why should they stand up for any of their values? If this was something that helped to keep YOU alive when you were in a foxhole somewhere, gunfire over your head, your prayers, and faith in God helped to get you through being so far from home, and alone, you would just get over it and go ahead, “for the kids”. When do we teach the kids to stand up for what they believe and seeing some men and women that truly put their lives on the line, standing up for their God seems to me to be a mighty good lesson to learn. What a disappointment it is for anyone to think that someone that has already made such a sacrifice should make another one just because you think so!

      • Jason Brian Merrill

        actually, no they don’t even say that. The current view on the establishment clause is that if you are acting in the capacity of authority in a public setting (for instance, being hired or asked to come speak at a school, being hired by the school, etc), you are not allowed to do anything to promote that particular religion, as that would be a de facto establishment of religion by a government-run body, which is funded via tax from people of all religious choices.

        If you want to pray at a football game and not disturb others, or if a student wants to lead a prayer at school, that’s another thing altogether. That’s free speech.

        People have to get educated about how this works!!!! Nobody is telling you that you cannot pray.

      • Greg

        And yet the Supreme Court also allows the words “In God we Trust” on money and Congress to start sessions with a prayer. If you don’t want to pray don’t, but stop telling those who want to that they can’t. Having prayer at a ceremony does cause the establishment of a religion, just as having a National Cathedral doesn’t either.

    • Imma Annoid

      If you want to believe in god, Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, that is your right. However, forcing the rest of us to listen to your beliefs in a government forum is over the top.

      • Odell Shankle

        Whats next. The National Athem or the Pledge to the flag.There’s probably nothing to do in Hickville si whatever is left shut that down to, that way all peple like you are satisfied.

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