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Veterans Affairs to remove Nazi gravestones featuring swastikas in two U.S. cemeteries

WJLA – Washington D.C. logo WJLA – Washington D.C. 6/2/2020 Jonathan Elias, ABC7
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National cemeteries are the final resting place for American servicemembers. Many who fought and died for our country. So how did three Nazi Soldiers get buried among American soldiers and even have headstones showing the Nazi swastikas and kind words to Adolf Hitler?

You will find two of these headstones at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio, Texas, and the other at Fort Douglas Post Cemetery in Salt Lake City, Utah.

ABC7's Jonathan Elias spoke with the Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie about these markers.

"What were your thoughts when you were first made aware of those symbols existed?"

"I was surprised, I hadn't heard about them," said Wilkie.

The secretary said he was first made aware of these three headstones before testifying on Capitol Hill on Virginia's response to COVID-19. Once he was made aware, he says he was very upset.

"They don't have a place. Now we have started the process of replacing them. These are horrific reminders of mankind at it's lowest, but we don't want to fully erase what happened because we want people to remember," said Wilkie.

Wilkie says the final resting place for American heroes is no place for the memory of Nazis.

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