(INDIANAPOLIS, June 20, 2019) — Citing America’s constitutional commitment to freedom of religion and expression, the leader of the nation’s largest veterans organization hailed today’s Supreme Court ruling which protects a popular veterans memorial, “as an overall victory for freedom.”
“This was not just about a single cross,” American Legion National Commander Brett P. Reistad said. “This was about the right of a community to honor its fallen heroes. And that’s why the World War I veterans of Bladensburg sacrificed their lives, to protect the freedom of others. The American Legion does not consider these crosses which honor so many veterans to be religious memorials. But even if it were, freedom of religion is also a cherished right protected by our First Amendment. Americans can feel more confident today that veterans memorials, cemetery headstones and patriotic monuments throughout our country are safer as a result of this ruling.”
With a current membership of nearly two million wartime veterans, The American Legion was founded in 1919 on the four pillars of a strong national security, veterans affairs, patriotic youth programs and Americanism. Legionnaires work for the betterment of their communities through nearly 13,000 posts worldwide. From the drafting of the original GI Bill to the creation of the Department of Veterans Affairs, The American Legion is the most influential voice for America’s veterans. The American Legion, www.legion.org, will be celebrating its centennial through Veterans Day.