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Google commemorates Veterans Day 2009 with this doodle

Google is honoring Veterans Day today with a Norman-Rockwell-style image of a child saluting a soldier, the third consecutive year the online search engine is marking the day with one of its creative “doodles.”

The company is displaying only three letters of its name, “Goo,” with the remainder of its name consisting of baggage for the letter g, the soldier for the letter l, and the child carrying an American flag representing the letter e.

Google was under fire for nearly a decade for not commemorating Veterans Day with any image, but in 2007, the firm broke its dry spell by creating a doodle featuring soldiers’ helmets sitting atop the letters of its name. Then last year, it honored the branches of the military by hanging their hats on its logo.

Today’s display comes after some thought Google snubbed this summer’s 65th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of Normandy by U.S. forces in World War II. The company instead celebrated the 25th anniversary of the computer game Tetris on June 6, resulting in sharp criticism at the time.

“Today marks the 65th anniversary of the D-Day invasion to liberate Europe from Nazi tyranny, and what does Google do? Instead of putting up an image to honor the sacrifices made and the triumph of good over evil, they honor Tetris?” comments the writer of A Blog for All. “The world owes a debt of honor to the brave men who stormed ashore at Normandy and parachuted in to roll [back] the Nazi conquest of Europe. This is what they came up with for today?”

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Don Surber of West Virginia’s Charleston Daily Mail wrote of Google in his blog, “Its owners may be multi-billionaires, but homeless guys show more class.”

Google’s decision to honor Tetris rather than D-Day, however, was only one in a string of criticized decisions about how the Internet giant uses its homepage doodles to recognize special occasions.

As WND has reported, Google has a history of ignoring major American patriotic and religious holidays, while honoring Remembrance Day in Australia, Canada, Ireland and the United Kingdom, the Chinese New Year, Valentine’s Day, Halloween and other observances.

Since it was founded in 1999, Google also has a history of commemorating National Teachers Day, Women’s Day, Ray Charles’ birthday, World Water Day and St. George’s Day, while ignoring Christmas, Memorial Day, and – until two years ago – Veterans Day.

Google has also been frequently criticized for its content policies and one-sided political slant:

  • Issuing a statement publicly opposing Proposition 8, California voters’ attempt to constitutionally define marriage as between one man and one woman
  • Restricting Christian advertising on the issue of abortion, until a lawsuit compelled Google to amend its policy
  • 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 has also reported,
98 percent of all political donations by Google employees from 2000-2004 went to
support Democrats, and Al Gore became a senior
adviser to the Internet company.

When asked in the past about its choices on what occasions to commemorate – including a decade of neglecting Memorial Day – Google has explained that it prefers its doodles to be lighter fare.

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

Nonetheless, as WND reported, Google chose poppies to honor Remembrance Day in Australia, Canada, United Kingdom and Ireland to honor those nations’ war dead. The poppies became associated with Remembrance Day because of the poem written by Canadian physician and Lt. Col. John McCrae in 1915, “In Flanders Fields.”

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