FFRF unveils ‘Atheists in Foxholes’ monument

A 4,743-pound granite monument dedicated to “Atheists in Foxholes and the countless freethinkers who have served this country with honor and distinction” was installed Oct. 6 at FFRF’s new offices in Madison, Wis.

It was dedicated on Oct. 9 during the grand opening of the renovated Freethought Hall. About a fourth of FFRF’s membership are veterans or current members of the military. The monument, made of the same South Dakota granite that Mount Rushmore is carved from, is more than 7 feet high, reflects the long windows that are part of the original 1855 building and provides a focus for the Rose Zerwick Memorial Garden and Courtyard adjoining the new entrance. A teak bench opposite the display provides a spot for reflection. This is FFRF’s second Atheists in Foxholes monument. The prototype, which was carved by World War II veteran Bill Teague, is nestled in the piney woods next to FFRF’s southern Freethought Hall near Munford, Ala., which is overseen by its chapter, the Alabama Freethought Society.

FFRF worked with Pechmann Memorials, which also carved the patio pavers — bearing donor names and slogans — surrounding the monument in the cozy courtyard space.
“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, co-founder and co-president.

Freedom From Religion Foundation