It Pays to Complain: December 2016

Donald H. Bachtel served admirably in Vietnam. I met him a few years later (in 1971) and we got married in 1972. When he died in a motorcycle accident in 1976, neither of us was yet 30.

His family and I were glad to have the city of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, bury him in the military part of the cemetery and install a headstone. Donald was raised without “the god delusion,” and I had long since discarded my Catholic faith.

When I visited the grave later, I noticed that the city had used a headstone with a Christian cross on it. That bothered me, but in my state of mind, I let it pass. All these years later, though, as “they” shout more and more loudly that this is a “Christian nation” and “there are no atheists in foxholes,” I finally decided to rectify the situation. I contacted the cemetery and the Department of Veterans Affairs and asked for a stone with an atheist symbol on it. As you can see, this nice marker was installed in the midst of rows of stones with crosses on them. Members of his family have thanked me; I’m just sorry it took me so long to have that horribly wrong symbol replaced.

Freedom From Religion Foundation