John Brownlee writes for FastCoCreate about the decision to allow US soldiers to request that the symbol of Thor, the hammer Mjölnir, be placed upon their gravestones as a symbol of religious faith.
Apparently this had been refused for a number of decades, despite the revived popularity of the symbol thanks to Marvel's Thor comic book, because it was considered a pagan symbol and not a recognised element of faith.
This began to change after a Wiccan soldier's wishes for a pentacle symbol were refused after his death, and his widow fought the courts for this to be changed, In 2007, the pentacle was added to the approved symbols and a few years later, the approval process was opened up.
Last year, a soldier from the Marine Corps died in combat and his mother requested the symbol, both for her son and for her husband who had died years earlier under a stricter regime. Ten months of forms later, the symbol was approved, and has has been carved in both graves.