The Freedom From Religion Foundation invites you to attend a Veterans Day celebration on Wednesday, Nov. 11, to honor freethinking (and all) veterans and to view the new "Atheists in Foxholes" monument.
The brief event will be held in the new Rose Zerwick Memorial Garden and Courtyard at FFRF's office, Freethought Hall in downtown Madison, Wis., starting at 11 a.m. Media and the public are invited to attend.
The monument, which was dedicated on Oct. 9 during a grand opening celebration for the renovated Freethought Hall, is dedicated to "ATHEISTS IN FOXHOLES and the countless freethinkers who have served this country with honor and distinction. Presented with hope that in the future humankind may learn to avoid all war."
The 7-foot-tall, 4,743-pound monument, made of the same South Dakota granite that Mount Rushmore is carved from, reflects the long windows that are part of the original 1855 building and provides a focus for the memorial garden and courtyard adjacent to Freethought Hall's new entrance. A teak bench opposite the monument provides a spot for reflection.
About a quarter of FFRF's members are veterans or in the military, which is about the same percentage of freethinkers in the military or veterans nationwide.
This is FFRF's second Atheists in Foxholes monument. The prototype, which was carved by World War II veteran Bill Teague, is nestled in piney woods next to FFRF's southern Freethought Hall near Munford, Ala., which is overseen by its chapter, the Alabama Freethought Society.
"FFRF deals with so many state/church entanglements regarding all branches of the military, where substantial incursions by aggressive evangelicals have been made. This monument not only honors nonreligious veterans, but serves as a reminder to our nation that — contrary to that tired, old, untrue cliché — there are indeed many 'atheists in foxholes,' " said Annie Laurie Gayor, FFRF co-founder and co-president.
Photo of Joseph Cunningham, WWII Vet and FFRF Executive Board Member. Photo by Staff Attorney Andrew Seidel