by Dr. D ~ November 12th, 2012
(Photo Credit: NPS/Eric Nystrom)
From The Blaze:
A war memorial cross that once stood on a rocky hilltop in a national park before being deemed unconstitutional and ordered removed has been resurrected on Veterans Day in the stunningly stark Mojave desert site, capping a landmark case for veterans fighting similar battles on public lands.
Henry Sandoz, who cared for the original 1930s cross as part of a promise to a dying World War I veteran, rededicated a new, 7-foot steel cross on the same hilltop. The site is now in private hands as part of a land swap with the National Park Service that ended the longstanding legal dispute, which had become entangled in the thorny issues of patriotism and religion.
Response: The timing is impeccable. Finally this case has been resolved after 11 years of controversy. We thought it was settled after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the land transfer and the continuation of the cross in its present site in April 2010 but some one defaced the site and stole the cross. Now another has been put up and re-dedicated to complete the saga.
It all began when the 1934 WWI memorial became part of the Mohave National Park 1994. In 2001, the ACLU filed suit to get the cross removed and federal court agreed with the objection. In 2003, Congress approved the sale of the plot so the memorial could continue but lawsuits followed and the courts denied the land transfer until the Supreme Court ruled in 2010. Meanwhile the ‘offensive’ cross was boarded up.
What I could never understand is why the objection to the 2003 transfer in the first place. It seemed to me to be a good solution (the best solution would have allowed the cross to remain on public land) allowing the WWI memorial to continue to bless and be maintained by area veterans while officially making the land private.
Nevertheless, secularists and atheists continued the battle trying to get the cross taken down anyway. Then when they lost in court, some one or some number of individuals who opposed the cross, illegally took it down and stole it.
Finally it has been restored and on the official WWI holiday commemorating the Armistice which is now celebrated in the USA as Veterans Day.
Here are our past articles on this saga: