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Google’s commemoration of Veterans Day 2007, the first time it has honored the U.S. holiday

It took nearly a decade, but Internet giant Google is finally honoring Veterans Day with a special holiday design for its famous logo.

Users who log onto Google’s home page today will see three World War I-era helmets capping the letters “o” and “e” in Google’s name.

The decoration is a marked departure for the company, which has come under fire from veterans’ groups for ignoring American holidays such as Veterans Day and Memorial Day since Google’s inception in 1999.

The firm, known for its widely used search engine, regularly modifies its logo to commemorate holidays, historical events and figures.



“Maybe all the pressure is paying off,” said WND reader Donna Hunter of Philadelphia. “God bless all our soldiers!”

When the Los Angeles Times asked the California-based firm about the issue, spokeswoman Sunny Gettinger responded, “Google’s special logos tend to be lighthearted and often scientific in nature. We do not believe we can convey the appropriate somber tone through this medium to mark holidays like Memorial Day.”

The Ledger newspaper of Lakeland, Fla., called that excuse “laughable.”


As WND reported last year, Google had no problem honoring the war dead of other countries, creating a special logo with poppies for Remembrance Day in Australia, Canada, Ireland and the United Kingdom.

And for the ninth year in a row this past spring, Google declined to mark Memorial Day ? something the company has done for the Chinese New Year, Valentine’s Day, Halloween and other observances.


Google’s Sputnik commemoration

Just last month Google acknowledged an accomplishment of the communist Soviet Union, which launched the Sputnik space satellite 50 years ago.

With the surprise launch of Sputnik 1 in 1957, the Soviet Union leaped ahead in the race for space between the U.S. and the communist empire. Sputnik’s success followed the failure of the first two Project Vanguard launch attempts by the U.S.

Google also has given special honors for astronomer Percival Lowell, artist Edvard Munch and Louis Braille, inventor of the writing system for the blind.

Other days commemorated included National Teachers Day, Women’s Day, Ray Charles’ birthday, World Water Day and St. George’s Day.

Besides overlooking Memorial Day and Veterans Day until today, it also has ignored Christmas.

Google has been criticized for its one-sided political contributions and content policies:

 

  • Rejecting an ad for a book critical of Bill and Hillary Clinton while continuing to accept anti-Bush themes

     

  • Rejecting ads critical of Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., while continuing to run attack ads against former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas.

     

  • Allowing the communist Chinese government to have the search engine block “objectionable” search terms such as “democracy.”

In addition, the company came under fire for an editorial decision giving preferential placement to large, elite media outlets such as CNN and the BBC over independent news sources, such as WND, even if they are more recent, pertinent and exhaustive in their coverage.

As WND reported, 98 percent of all political donations by Google employees went to support Democrats, and as a matter of fact, Al Gore is now a senior adviser to Google.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt gave the maximum legal limit of donations to Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry and to primary candidate Howard Dean.

Schmidt also contributed the maximum amount to Sen. Clinton.

Read the related commentary: The meaning of sacrifice

 


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