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News and Commentary

LGBT Veterans Memorial Service

Congressional Cemetery
Washington DC

November 11th, 2008

The fifth annual Veterans Day Memorial Service was held at the Congressional Cemetery in Washington, D.C. on November 11. Sponsored by the Arlington Gay and Lesbian Alliance, and led every year by retired Navy Medical Officer and Vietnam Veteran Capt. Mike Rankin, the service was covered this year for the first time by the Washington Post and the Washington Blade.

The service included singing of the National Anthem, readings by and about gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender men and women who died in all our nationís wars, and laying a wreath at the gravesite of Sgt. Leonard Matlovich, one of the first to challenge the militaryís exclusion of GLBT people from the armed forces of the United States. On Sgt. Matlovichís grave are these words: "They gave me a medal for killing two men and a discharge for loving one."

Airman Tony Smith spoke about our posthumous honoree, Major Alan Rogers, the first openly gay casualty of the Iraq war to be buried in Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.

The service concluded with the sounding of Taps.

©  2008  Gay Military Signal