The Washington Times - April 11, 2013, 02:27PM

Two congressional Republicans want to end, once and for all, the attempts of atheist groups and others to remove religious symbols from war memorials.

Rep. Duncan Hunter of California and Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina on Thursday introduced the “War Memorial Protection Act,” which they say will create a “foundation in federal law” for public veterans’ and war memorials that include crosses or similar items.

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“It is our duty to honor our veterans and their families, and American military memorials around the world stand as testaments to their sacrifice,” Mr. Burr said in a statement. “Many of our men and women in uniform have strong religious convictions, often finding that their faith has played a role in their service. This bill would recognize their beliefs by ensuring that religious symbols, regardless of affiliation, are allowed to be part of military memorials.”

For years, atheist groups and others have fought to remove religious symbols from public lands and war memorials. One of the most recent uproars have come in Coos Bay, Oregon, where the Freedom From Religion Foundation has filed a complaint to remove a cross from the local Vietnam Memorial. The group says that memorial violates separation of church and state provisions.