It's something akin to leaving the Gettysburg Address off the Lincoln Memorial.
FDR's prayer, read over the radio and published in every newspaper in the country on June 6, 1944, united this country in a way it had never before and never since been brought together. Churches and synagogues were jammed as our men waded ashore in Normandy and the president asked the country to come together in prayer. It was one of the most important moments of the war, uniting the home front with the front lines in Europe in a uniquely American way.
But the Bureau of Land Management doesn't quite see it that way. Fox News:
But Robert Abbey, the director of the Bureau of Land Management, said any plaque or inscription of the prayer would "dilute" the memorial's central message and therefore "should not be altered."
"It is not a judgment as to the merit of this new commemoration, simply that altering the Memorial in this way, as proposed in HR 2070, will necessarily dilute this elegant memorial's central message and its ability to clearly convey that message to move, educate, and inspire its many visitors," Abbey said in written testimony.
Abbey explained to lawmakers that altering the memorial would be contrary to the Commemorative Works Act - a law that prohibits "encroachment by a new commemoration on a existing one." It also respects the design of the "completed work of civic art without alteration or addition of new elements."
Johnson told Fox News that the administration's objection should "give all Americans a great deal of concern."
"For there to be objections to demonstrating a faith in God at critical points in our nation's history - particularly D-Day - boggles my mind," Johnson said. "I was very surprised they were going to object."
I don't disagree entirely with Abbey and I understand the reasoning he is using. Monuments and memorials are works of art and as such, should be respected in that way. But they are going to change the King memorial, albeit to correct a mistake. And they keep adding names to the Vietnam Memorial so his argument weakens further. (They also added the statue to that memorial years after it had opened.)
Perhaps Abbey should stop acting like a robotic bureaucrat and think like an American for a change. The prayer belongs on the memorial.