Lloyd thinks it's a matter of political correctness gone wild."The entirety of this issue is an absurdity that shows political correctness and secular cleansing run amok," Lloyd said. "This is about families of deceased veterans putting to rest their loved ones. No one should interfere with their choices."The 12th fold recitation is geared to Christians, saying the fold "represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in their eyes, God the Father, the Son and Holy Ghost."In the Legion's burning ceremony for the dignified disposal of unserviceable flags, a chaplain invokes the name of God with lines like "as they yield their substance to the fire, may your holy light spread over us and bring our hearts renewed devotion to God and country," Joyce said.
"When we got back from the war, we didn't ask for a whole lot," said Bobby Castillo, 85, a World War II Navy veteran. "We just want to give our veterans the respect they deserve. No one has ever complained to us about it. I just don't understand."Lloyd and Castillo are part of a 16-member detail that have performed military honors at more than 1,400 services. They were preparing to read the flag-folding remarks at the Riverside cemetery when graveyard staff stopped them.Charlie Waters, parliamentarian for the American Legion of California, said he's advising memorial honor details to ignore the edict."This is nuts," Waters told the Press-Enterprise by telephone from Fresno."There are 26 million veterans in this country and they're not going to take us all to prison."Nacincik said that while the flag-folding narrative includes references to God that the government does not endorse, the main reason for the new rules is uniformity."We are looking at consistency," Nacincik said. "We think that's important."Rabbi Yitzhak Miller of Temple Beth El said he understands the ban."It is a perfect example of government choosing to ignore religion in order to avoid offending some religions," Miller said. "To me, ignoring religion in general is just as problematic as endorsing any one religion."Shuler's letter urged Veterans Affairs to change its mind."Please reconsider the policy and allow the Memorial Honor Detail volunteers to perform the traditional flag-folding recitation if requested by the family of the deceased," he wrote.Lloyd said the honor guard would decide whether to defy the ban next Tuesday, when it will serve at more military funerals."We are going to abide by the wishes of the families," Lloyd said. "Not some bureaucrat in Washington, D.C. Period."