Biden’s VA Replaces Lincoln Quotes Due to Use of Male Pronouns
Saturday, March 18, 2023
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has changed its official motto, dropping a quote from Abraham Lincoln that was adopted in 1959, citing its use of male pronouns.
The VA consulted with around 30,000 veterans, including a diverse group of men and women of every age group, LGBTQ+ veterans, and White, Black, Latino, Asian and Native American veterans, Fox News reports.
The new mission statement reads: “To fulfill President Lincoln’s promise to care for those who have served in our nation’s military and for their families, caregivers, and survivors.”
The previous motto, taken from Lincoln’s 1865 second inaugural address, read: “To care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan”. The VA believes the previous motto was deemed inadequate as it did not include women veterans, families and caregivers related to veterans.
The change was supported by the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, who urged the former VA Secretary to alter the mission statement in 2018.
Allison Jaslow, a former Army officer and head of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, said: “Culture is all about the tone you set at the top, and we believe that the motto is emblematic of the fact that the culture, or at least at the tone, is not being set at the top for equal treatment of women veterans and other veterans. Not only is it an important move for the VA…we’re also trying to get the rest of America to see women veterans.”
Denis McDonough, the VA Secretary, said the new mission statement reflects the VA’s commitment to serving all veterans, their families, caregivers, and survivors.
The VA serves over 600,000 women vets, and the change reflects the agency’s desire to include everyone who has served the country, regardless of their race, gender, background, sexual orientation, religion, zip code, or identity.
The VA plans to replace plaques on VA facilities with the new language to ensure that every veteran, family member, caregiver, or survivor feels seen and valued.