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Bill aims to honor Jewish chaplains at Arlington

By Eric Tucker

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, April 20 2011 3:55 a.m. MDT

The monument would stand about 7 feet tall, with a bronze plaque mounted on a granite slab listing the 13 names as well as a Jewish proverb — "I ask not for a lighter burden, but for broader shoulders" — and an inscription with the Star of David. There would be space at the bottom for future chaplains if needed.

The plans hit a hurdle after a leadership change at Arlington, when organizers said they learned for the first time that a new monument at the cemetery would require a resolution from Congress.

The resolution has widespread bipartisan support, officials say, but getting it through Congress has been arduous.

"For the last decade or so, there's been a feeling by Congress that we shouldn't just put up a memorial to everything that there is, that there should be some deliberations and thought, so there have been hurdles that we've had to jump over generally speaking," said William Daroff, vice president for public policy and director of the Washington office of the Jewish Federations of North America, which has lobbied Congress.

Still, Weiner hopes to get the resolution on the floor sometime next month.

"I would anticipate that this would have no opposition. We're not costing the taxpayers any money," he said.

Rabbi Harold Robinson, the director of the JWB Jewish Chaplains Council and one of the leaders of the effort, said America's corps of chaplains is unique among nations because of its diversity — a distinction, the retired Navy official said, has not been properly recognized at the country's resting place for the military.

"This is a miracle of American democracy and that's not a miracle that one learns about by going to Arlington National Cemetery," Robinson said.

Online:

Arlington National Cemetery: http://www.arlingtoncemetery.mil/

JWB Jewish Chaplains Council: http://www.jcca.org/jwb/

American Jewish Historical Society: http://www.ajhs.org/

Jewish Federations of North America: http://www.jewishfederations.org/

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