VFW’s department of redundancy department


The Northfield VFW and the Northfield Legion took out this full page ad in this weekend’s edition of the Northfield News for tomorrow’s Memorial Day celebration at Veteran’s Memorial Park. I plan to be there taking photos tomorrow.

I found their list of wars for the “placing of the wreaths” ceremony to be a bit odd.

From the Revolutionary War through the Persian Gulf War, no problem, though some vets of the Cold War have been lobbying to have that included. But the last two wars listed are labeled:

  • War on Terrorism
  • Operation Enduring Freedom

IMG_2236.JPGThe Wikipedia defines Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) as the government’s official name for all post-9/11 action, though they indicate that OEF most commonly means the war in Afghanistan. This Dept of Defense web page equates ‘Operation Enduring Freedom’ with the ‘war against terrorism.’

So are the VFW and Legion trying to communicate something with this wording strategy or is it a typo? And why not use the commonly-used ‘Iraq War’ or the ‘War in Iraq’ or just ‘Iraq’ like it’s listed on the ‘Major Wars and Conflicts’ granite marker at the site (right photo)?



  1. John S. Thomas said:


    I would caution you again against using “Wikipedia” as an authoritative source.

    OEF refers to operations mainly in Afganistan.

    WOT refers more toward actions worldwide after 9/11.

    For the war in Iraq, you can pick any of the ones listed here, as well as “Operation Iraqi Freedom”.



    May 28, 2007
  2. John S. Thomas said:

    As a reminder, the ceremony in rememberance of those that have given the ultimate service to our country, will take place at 9 AM this morning.

    Please also remember, that flags should be flown at half staff until noon, then be brought to thier normal position. (http://www.usflag.org/uscode36.html) Ref: United States Code, Title 36, Chapter 10, Para 175 (m)

    (m) The flag, when flown at half-staff, should be first hoisted to the peak for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff position. The flag should be again raised to the peak before it is lowered for the day. On Memorial Day the flag should be displayed at half-staff until noon only, then raised to the top of the staff.

    Thank you for your time.

    May 28, 2007
  3. Griff Wigley said:

    John, I agree, which is why I hunted around and saw that the government at least occasionally equates OEF with WOT.

    It would seem to make the most sense to list just the WOT (all-inclusive) or both Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF).

    May 28, 2007
  4. John S. Thomas said:

    Well, the WOT is a Bush administration term.

    OIF, and OEF, can be attributed directly to the Department of Defense.

    May 28, 2007

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