Thor’s Hammer Approved For Veterans Headstones
Pagan organizations have been fighting in court to have their emblems added to the official Veterans Affairs “Available Emblems of Belief for Placement on Government Headstones and Markers” list. It appears that has finally happened for Heathens who see Thor’s Hammer (the symbolic Mjölnir) as the symbol for their faith.
Without any fan fair, announcement, press release or celebration, the VA quietly updated the approved list of symbols on May 2, 2013. At least two emblems have been added to the list. Emblem #55 Thor’s Hammer and Emblem #56 Unification Church.
In searching for an official statement of the release, I’ve gotten nothing from the VA except for technology searches that indicate the page was definitely updated on May 2nd. I did find an advocate for the Thor inclusion who relayed to me that the emblem was approved in April and the list updated this month on May 2nd.
Two Heathen organizations, The Troth and the Asatru Folk Assembly, were represented at [a] rally, and from it a wider movement to get the Thor’s Hammer approved emerged, reports Jason Pitzl-Waters on The Wild Hunt.
What I’m trying to find out is what other emblems were added in this latest update and when. 18 emblems have been added to the list since 2007 when the Wiccan Pentacle was added after a large court battle.
The list now includes emblems like the Medicine Wheel, Four Directions, Infinity and Landing Eagle. Hopefully we’ll learn more as the Asatru Folk Assembly releases information concerning their fight to win this battle.
In order for an emblem to be approved, someone who has served has to have died and their next of kin must submit the official request with supporting documentation. Being someone had to submit not only to the Federal Government, but the Military, you know that request wasn’t easy to submit. It’s an effort that no family should have to undertake to honor the final wishes of their loved one, a soldier who protected the religious freedoms of all Americans.
Until then everyone at Spring’s Haven and I extend a happy and excited Congratulations to our Heathen brethren! We are so very excited for you and we sincerely hope, with all the best intentions, that Thor’s Hammer is never needed on a soldiers headstone as the result of war in the future.