Wednesday, September 19, 2012

World War I Peace Cross Rests at Intersection of First Amendment Battle


IN THE MILITARY


Liberty Institute Defends 40-Ft. Maryland Veterans Memorial

BLADENSBURG, MD, Sept. 19, 2012 —Liberty Institute on behalf of The American Legion will defend a 40-ft. World War I Peace Cross in Bladensburg, MD, erected in 1925 to honor men from Prince George’s County who lost their lives in the Great War. The 16-ton historic landmark— that sits in the heart of the community’s historic district to greet passersby and honor the selfless sacrifice and service of veterans with the inspirational inscription: “VALOR, ENDURANCE, COURAGE AND DEVOTION—is the oldest of four memorials in Veterans Memorial Park.
After standing for nearly a century at the highway intersection of Md. 450 and U.S. 1, the veterans memorial had never received a complaint, until the American Humanist Association sent a threatening demand letter to the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission last month. The group advocating for humanist and atheist causes alleges, because the veterans memorial is in the shape of a cross, it is unconstitutional for sitting on public land. The group demands the immediate removal of the veterans memorial.

“Surely, the Humanists are bluffing. I doubt very seriously this group will even file a lawsuit to disturb the Bladensburg Peace Cross, which has stood for nearly a century as a symbol of the selfless sacrifice and service of the 49 soldiers who paid the ultimate price for the freedom of others during World War I,” said Hiram Sasser, Director of Litigation for Liberty Institute.

Tom Davis, Adjutant of The American Legion Department of Maryland, said, “The American Legion strongly opposes any effort seeking removal of this historic veterans memorial, which would dishonor the WWI veterans who fought and died for our nation. We will do what we can to ensure that the Memorial Cross remains where it has stood for decades.”

The World War I Peace Cross is just one of many veterans memorials across the country under assault by the ACLU, atheist groups and their supporters. Liberty Institute is also representing veterans in the defense of other veterans memorial crosses, including the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial and the Mojave Desert Veterans Memorial.

About Liberty Institute
Liberty Institute is a nonprofit legal group dedicated to defending and restoring religious liberty across America — in our schools, for our churches and throughout the public arena. Liberty’s vision is to reestablish religious liberty in accordance with the principles of our nation’s Founders. For information, visit www.LibertyInstitute.org.