“God Bless America” Sign at Pittsburg Post Office Taken Down After Complaint
You can tell by the watermarks. It’s still fairly easy to see where that “God Bless America” sign once hung. A sign that’s been there for nearly 15 years, and first put up after 9/11 to bring to the community together during a time of uncertainty.
Vietnam Veteran and Former Letter Carrier Doug Brisendine says “It’s wrong, I think it’s wrong personally, but…,” and shrugs his shoulders.
Brisendine along with a group of other veterans working at post office put up the sign after 9/11 with help from the postmaster.
“Each one of us put a screw in to represent that we put it up there and what we felt for the country,” he says.
Former Postmaster Ed Hinde says “It’s sad, it’s sad that they feel like that this is something that they understand when they don’t.”
It’s since been taken down after a Pittsburg resident filed a complaint with the “Freedom From Religion Foundation.”
Madeline Ziegler with FFRF says “Employees are free to ask God to bless America all they want on their own time. The problem comes when they ask their government employer to endorse their personal religious beliefs by plastering them on the side of the federal building.”
Hinde argues “No, take a dollar bill out of your pocket you’re gonna see ‘In God We Trust.'”
According to postal policy local post offices aren’t allowed to put up non-governmental displays or notices on postal property unless they are approved by U.S. Postal Service beforehand.
Ziegler says “We’re really excited that the post office decided to take the right action here.”
But for many residents and vets like Brisendine they are sad to see it go.
He says “It’s a sad thing that it’s not there to keep on doing what it was doing.”
The “Freedom From Religion Foundation” has about 23,000 members across the nation who fight to protect the separation of church and state.