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COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) – A New York couple whose son died in Operation Desert Storm say Boone County’s decision to cover a Christian symbol on a war memorial dishonored veterans.

The Boone County Commission decided earlier this year to cover the ichthus, commonly called the “Jesus fish” but it has only recently caused public controversy.

Only two names appear on the Courthouse Plaza memorial. The Columbia Daily Tribune reports the parents of one of those sailors, U.S. Navy Lt. Patrick Connor, learned of the decision last week. They said the covering of the symbol was an affront to fundamental American beliefs.

The commission said it covered the symbol in June after Washington, D.C.-based group threatened to take legal action against governments that allow religious icons on taxpayer-owned property.

Information from: Columbia Daily Tribune,