Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Sergeant Henry E. Bucci Memorial

Name: Sergeant Henry E. Bucci Memorial
Location: Intersection of Elmwood Ave and Broad St, Providence, Rhode Island
Religious Significance: None

Memorials to American soldiers who have died in foreign wars have traditionally never contained religious symbolism. This is a lie foisted on the American public by a small group of Christians more interested in getting their religious symbols onto public property, blurring the line separating church and state, than in truly honoring fallen soldiers. The small handful of crosses dedicated to soldiers of memorials emblazoned with religious sentiments are mostly from a short period during the cold war, artifacts from a time when fear of Communism convinced lawmakers to put "In God We Trust" on our money and the words "under God" in the Pledge.

There are of course a handful of exceptions, but military memorials are meant to commemorate the military accomplishments of American soldiers, not their fealty to some religion. The idea that new memorials should be crafted in the light of what amounts to a fear-based aberration in our national psyche instead of in the tradition of a long line of military memorials that are secular in nature, should be anathema to those who value the very Constitution these soldiers died defending.

Here's a typical example of a monument to a particular soldier, United States Marine Corps Master Gunnery Sergeant Henry E. Bucci, located near the intersection of Elmwood Ave and Broad St in Providence, Rhode Island. From the monument we learn that Bucci was a veteran of World Wars I and II, and that he died in service to his country on August 9, 1942 after 26 years of service. 

Something I don't know about Sergeant Bucci? His religion. Why? Because it does not matter. Bucci did not give his life for his religion. He died serving his country. Maybe he was Catholic, or protestant, or an atheist. Maybe he picked up a strange foreign religious practice while serving in some faraway land. Maybe he never considered religion at all, or maybe the Marine Corps was the closest thing he ever had to a religion.

Whatever the case, his conscience and his thoughts were his own. Sergeant Bucci could have been a lot of things, but what we do know about him, and the reason this memorial was erected in his name, is that he was a soldier who served his country, and gave his life for it.

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