Pete Buttigieg Promises to Make Veterans Affairs Motto More Gender Inclusive

Pedestrians walk in front of the Department of Veterans Affairs building in Washington, Friday, June 21, 2013. The number of military suicides is nearly double that of a decade ago when the U.S. was just a year into the Afghan war and hadn’t yet invaded Iraq. While the pace is …
AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

Mayor Pete Buttigieg celebrated Veterans Day on Monday, promising to change the motto of the Veterans Affairs to make it more gender inclusive.

The motto for Veterans Affairs is featured on a plaque on the federal building in Washington, DC, featuring 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.”

Congressional Democrats proposed legislation 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.”

“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,” said Sen. Kristen Gillibrand in a 2018 statement supporting the change.

Buttigieg said in a campaign message that changing the motto would help support “the full integration of women service members into the military” and said he would direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to revise the motto if elected president.

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