The following is from Ellen Evert Hopman:
An Urgent Plea Concerning Druid Veterans and Their Families and Friends.
Please Read and Pass This Along!
To date I have not received any new letters from vets stating their desire to have the ‘Awen’ symbol on their headstones, nor any copies of letters to next of kin or clergy stating the same. It will be very hard to proceed with this cause as a religious freedom issue unless we can show that there are Druid vets out there who want the symbol.
The campaign is at a critical point once again and we really need those letters. Can you please alert your members?
Thank you in advance and here is my address again; POB 219 Amherst, MA 01004 EE Hopman
Please see message from Selana Fox below;
This is follow-up to some individual and group discussions I have had with some of you previously, and most recently, Ellen.
It is a good idea to get letters from Druid vets and Druids on active duty in the US military who state that they have the Awen symbol as their emblem of belief and that they want it added to the Va’s list of emblems of belief that can be included on gravestones it issues for deceased veterans.
Their letters should state that after death, they would like the Awen included on their VA-issued grave marker which will be ordered by next of kin.
It also is a good idea to have the next of kin of each of these veterans informed about the veteran’s wishes regarding the Awen being included on gravestones to be ordered after the veteran’s death from the VA. Something in writing from the veteran/soldier to her/his next of kin could be very helpful.
I met by phone this week with staff from the US Department of Veterans Affairs to get another update on the progress of the revision of the new procedures for adding additional emblems of belief to the Va’s authorized list. This bureaucratic process is still in the works. During this call, no one could estimate as to how soon the process would be completed. I did lean that the process was continuing to move, although slowly. We plan to continue to track this.
Although the Va’s new procedures have not been released yet and supposedly have gone through quite a few changes as a result of the revision process that was begun in January 2007,several VA staff I spoke with over the past year indicated to me that, as with the previous set of procedures, that a symbol will be eligible to be on the list after a veteran or one on active duty dies and had wanted a symbol on her/his marker and the next of kin knows of this and makes that request of the VA as part of the gravestone/marker/plaque application process.
During our settlement of the Circle Sanctuary vs. Nicholson lawsuit in April 2007 which resulted in the Pentacle being added to the list, I made certain that our attorneys (from Americans United for Separation of Church and State) included a clause in the settlement agreement that allowed me and Circle Sanctuary to work on behalf of other emblems of belief being added to the list. When asked about the reason for this clause by media at the national press club news conference on April 23,2007, the day the Pentacle was added to the list, I specifically mentioned the need for the Druid symbol to be added.
Should any of you know of a Druid vet or Druid on active duty who dies and has requested the Awen to be on a VA headstone and the next of kin is planning to order a marker from the VA, please contact Circle Sanctuary as soon as possible so we can be available to help as needed.
Lady Liberty League
firstname.lastname@example.org Box 9,Barneveld, WI 53507 USA
Ellen Evert Hopman, herbalist, author and Druid Priestess author of “Priestess of the Forest: A Druid Journey”
and “A Druids Herbal – For Sacred Tree Medicine” (Spring 2008) See her books, DVDs and audio tapes at http://www.celticheritage.co.uk/EllenEvertHopman/