That is according to local volunteer and veterans groups that work at the cemetery. They are now suing the Cemetery in federal court so that they can use the word God.
To cite one specific example given in the suit, the director of the cemetery, Arleen Ocasio commanded volunteers never to use "God bless you" and "God bless" ever again at the cemetery.
Cheryl Whitfield, founder of Houston National Memorial Ladies, could not simply stand by. "I could've kept my mouth shut and let things happen, but when it comes to standing up for your belief in God and giving comfort to the families, I don't want to regret not saying anything," she said. "We all had to stand up for what we believe in."
Specifically, the suit brought against the cemetery and the Department of Veterans Affairs states that there has been "a widespread and consistent practice of discriminating against private religious speech."
|Houston National Cemetery|
"The doors remain locked during Houston National Cemetery operating hours, the cross and the Bible have been removed, and the Chapel bells, which tolled at least twice a day, are now inoperative. Director Ocasio only unlocks the chapel doors when meetings or training sessions are held at the building. Furthermore, it is no longer called a 'chapel' but a 'meeting facility.' "Another man allegedly discriminated against in the suit was Vietnam veteran Nobleton Jones. After reciting the words, "We ask that God grant you and your family grace, mercy and peace" at a burial ceremony, a phrase that he has used for decades, he was told to stop.
"That makes me feel smaller, even after I spent my time in the military, fighting so that people should be able to say that," he said in response. "I did all this for my country and you are going to tell me what I can and can't say?"