Humanists Honor Fallen Warriors For Independence Day

On July 1st, the Military Association of Atheists & Freethinkers honored fallen warriors at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery. MAAF presented a red-white-and-blue wreath to represent the American values our warriors defend. Following placement of the wreath, several members continued on to visit the graves of atheists in foxholes who have served the nation. Atheists, humanists, and other nontheists serve our country honorably and take time to honor all those who have served.

Members of MAAF, Washington Area Secular Humanists, and DC Atheists attended the event. In addition, a group of students from Arkansas were visiting and had a chance to placement of the wreath. The Tomb guards were professionals as always and performed their duties flawlessly. MAAF member Dexter Vilchis joined MAAF President Jason Torpy in placing the wreath.

After the wreath-laying, the group continued on to visit “The Great Agnostic” Colonel Robert Ingersoll. We also visited gravesites of Air Medal and Purple Heart awardee John Hormuth and Army veteran James DeBerg, son of MAAF board member Colonel (Ret.) Oak DeBerg and his wife and fellow Colonel JoEllen. We also visited WWII POW leader Hans Kasten, and Colonels John Henderson and Richard Mason.

The full cemetery visit can be found at the MAAF list of atheists in foxholes.

Visitors enjoyed a special show of the breadth of the nontheist community. We made an additional stop at the gravesite of 1st Lieutenant and Vietnam veteran John Cool. His site will be added to those available for visitation. At each gravesite, the group took a moment to say a few words about the person and to take time for silent reflection on  their service. The event provided the opportunity to remember the service of all those hundreds of thousands at Arlington Cemetery, our nation’s most sacred shrine.

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