Interior Secretary Defies WH on Memorial Prayer

Friday, 18 Nov 2011 11:49 AM

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Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has sided with Republican lawmakers who are challenging his agency’s attempt to block the adding of a prayer to the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. reports that Salazar — faced with a barrage of questions from Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio, sponsor of a bill to add the prayer read by President Franklin D. Roosevelt before D-Day — admitted that adding it would not “dilute” the “central message” of the memorial, as was suggested by another Interior Department official.
“Altering the memorial in this way . . . will necessarily dilute this elegant memorial’s central message to move, educate, and inspire its many visitors,” Robert Abbey, director of the agency’s Bureau of Land Management, said at a Nov. 3 hearing on the proposed bill.
“Mr. Secretary, do you agree with your department’s assessment that by adding President Roosevelt’s D-Day prayer to the World War II Memorial that it would dilute the message of the memorial?” Johnson asked Salazar on Wednesday.
Salazar responded that “in my own personal view,” adding the prayer would not detract from the message of the memorial.

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