Gen Boykin on Memorial Day and the Missing Man Table
Just prior to Memorial Day retired LtGen William “Jerry” Boykin wrote a column in the Washington Times entitled “Rolling Thunder, ‘Missing Man’ tables and the Bible.” Rolling Thunder is the annual arrival in Washington, DC, or thousands of motorcyclists at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Gen Boykin notes Rolling Thunder also supports Missing Man or POW/MIA Tables around the country — something certain government agencies have actually made more difficult.
After noting the traditional makeup fo the POW/MIA table, Boykin said:
Bibles have been removed at certain U.S. military installations and Veterans Administration facilities…Wright-Patterson and Eglin U.S. Air Force bases both removed Bibles from their POW/MIA displays due to complaints by atheist groups claiming that the Bible was a violation of the constitutional principle of separation of church and state.
Likewise, the VA hospital facilities in Akron and Youngstown, Ohio did the same for identical reasons. Worse still, Patrick AFB removed the entire display due to similar motives in 2014.
Boykin then accused the VA and the military of “kowtowing” to cowards:
America has been at war since 2001 fighting a determined enemy across the globe. Yet there are those in this nation who view Bibles as the enemy: something to be kept at arm’s length for fear of the damage to our warriors that might result from exposure to it. That’s ridiculous — if our military men and women cannot deal with a Bible in a public place, it is highly unlikely they will ever prevail over a serious foe…
The VA and the military should be ashamed for kowtowing to the foolish demands of groups who are far less concerned with national security than they are with pushing their nefarious agendas. Leaders without courage or a fundamental understanding of the U.S. Constitution have made the decision to remove Bibles from these POW/MIA displays, and they need to be held accountable for their behavior.
Though unnamed in the article, Michael “Mikey” Weinstein is the coward who was largely responsible for demanding the removal of Bibles from public view. He “won” a spate of complaints in early 2016, but for the most part faded away after he had exhausted his list of friendly locations. For the most part, Weinstein has been silent this year, save a couple of attempts to manufacture outrage, and he has fallen out of public view.
And, in his absence, POW/MIA tables have once again honored those captured and missing as a result of their sacrifice to our Nation.