Pete Buttigieg Vows To Make Veterans Affairs Motto ’Gender-Inclusive'
2020 hopeful pledges to revise the motto if elected as president
Presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg vowed to change the motto of the Department of Veterans Affairs and make it more 'gender-inclusive' while celebrating Veterans Day on Monday.
The Veterans Affairs motto is featured on a plaque on the federal building in Washington, DC, with a quote from President Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address in 1865:
“To care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan.”
But Congressional Democrats proposed to change the motto to:
"To fulfill President Lincoln’s promise to care for those ‘who shall have borne the battle’ and for their families, caregivers, and survivors.”
Sen. Kristen Gillibrand said in a 2018 statement supporting the change:
“Women have served in our military and given their lives to defend our nation since the founding of the country, and that includes the thousands of women who have made the brave and selfless decision to serve in our armed forces around the world today.
"It’s time for the VA’s motto to formally reflect that fact."
Buttigieg argued that changing the motto would help support “the full integration of women service members into the military," adding that if he is elected president, he will direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to revise the motto.
In May this year, Buttigieg called for former President Thomas Jefferson's name to be stripped from public view.
Presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg slammed President Donald Trump's supporters during a three-day swing of Iowa countie— Neon Nettle (@NeonNettle) November 5, 2019
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During a radio interview, Buttigieg said that removing Jefferson's name from buildings, honors, and events - specifically the annual Democrat fundraiser, the "Jefferson-Jackson Dinner" - is "the right thing to do."
“Yeah, we're doing that in Indiana. I think it's the right thing to do,” Buttigieg said, according to The Washington Free Beacon.
Buttigieg also went on to offer a fairly neutral, half-hearted defense of the iconic president and author of the Declaration of Independence.
“Over time, you develop and evolve on the things you choose to honor, Jefferson is more problematic,” Buttigieg said.
“There's a lot, of course, to admire in his thinking and his philosophy, but then again, if you plunge into his writings, especially the notes on the state of Virginia, you know that he knew slavery was wrong."