The VA announced today that it would be removing three prisoners of war headstones that feature Nazi paraphernalia. Two of the headstones are located at a VA cemetery in Texas, and the third headstone is located in Utah. Although the VA has not released when they will be removing the headstones, the Department of Veterans Affairs has committed to removing them.
Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D), who is arguable the most influential members of Florida’s Democratic congressional caucus, released a statement on the move, thanking Robert Wilkie, the Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary for initiating “the process required to replace German POW headstones that bear offensive swastika symbols and Nazi inscriptions honoring Hitler in our VA National Cemeteries.”
On Twitter, she further praised the decision, arguing that “as we fight bigotry at all levels, it is satisfying to see the removal of graves depicting swastikas and praise of Hitler from VA cemeteries.” She added that “no families of American soldiers who fought against hatred and intolerance should be confronted with that.”
As we fight bigotry at all levels, it is satisfying to see the removal of graves depicting swastikas and praise of Hitler from VA cemeteries.
No families of American soldiers who fought against hatred and intolerance should be confronted with that.https://t.co/Z0TSezGQNe
— Debbie Wasserman Schultz (@DWStweets) June 2, 2020
In the statement, the Florida lawmaker also mentioned that “the families of soldiers who fought against intolerance and hatred must never be forced to confront glorification of those very ideologies when visiting their loved ones,” noting that the “VA’s initial decision to leave the gravestones in place was callous and irresponsible, but today’s decision is an honorable move in the right direction.”