Wiccan Burial Plaque Installed
Finally, over the weekend, the memorial plaque was installed for Sgt. Stewart. His widow, Roberta Stewart, was notified Monday at around 10:30, to which she automatically went out to see it for herself. The plaque is as promised and shows the Wiccan symbol, the pentacle or 5 pointed star. She was very relieved to see that the state of Nevada had followed through with their promise. What is really cool about when they installed this is that their wedding anniversary is on Wednesday. So, what a great anniversary present this must be for Roberta Stewart. This is also memorable in another way. This is the FIRST time a pentacle has EVER been placed in a Veteran's cemetery in the entire history of the United States. So we are taking steps forward, even though they are baby steps, they are steps none the less.
However, the real battle still lies ahead. How do you get the government to step up and take notice as the state of Nevada has? That's a very good question. I suppose that since nothing could be done by the mere means of civilians alone, the court system will have to try to give them a nudge. We shall see how this all goes over though, and just how long it will be in the court system before anything is even looked at.
As a reminder, the lawsuit was filed on November 13th. So only time will tell as to how this will actually play out. I'm sure it will be a matter of years, yet again. But hopefully the VA will step up and do what is right, instead of dragging this situation out any longer. We can only hope.
Here is some quick statistical info about Wiccans and the military, provided by an article from the Associated Press:
-The Army allows soldiers to list they are Wiccan on their dog tags.
-They are allowed to hold Wiccan services on installations.
-The Army Chaplain's Handbook contains an explanation of what Wicca is.
-As of 2005, around 1,800 ACTIVE-DUTY service men and women acknowledge they are Wiccan or of some Pagan faith (according to the Department of Defense).