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American Legion News: The Mojave Cross Can Stay

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled 5-4 that a Latin cross honoring World War I veterans in southwestern California does not need to be removed or concealed from public view. The American Legion has long supported efforts to preserve the 1934-erected monument at its current location on Sunrise Rock. The American Civil Liberties Union has led efforts to remove it, contending it violates separation between church and state.

“To remove the Mojave Cross, or to conceal it inside a plywood box as it has been for several months, is a violation of free expression in itself,” American Legion National Commander Clarence Hill said. “The court ruled correctly in this case. If it had gone the other way, a number of other veterans memorials and monuments around the country would be faced with similar restrictions. It’s a slippery slope, and the Supreme Court acknowledged that. Removal of a religious symbol from a veterans memorial could conceivably be followed by removal of religious symbols from all government-owned or public spaces even, perhaps, veterans cemeteries.

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