Replica Mojave cross installed, taken down

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Replica Mojave cross installed, taken down

A replica of the cross removed last week from the site of the National World War I Memorial in Mojave National Preserve was installed by an unknown party sometime on May 19 but then removed by park employees. Federal parks have regulations regarding the placing of memorials within the park boundaries.

The new cross was seen by park employees early Thursday morning. It was mounted at the same location as the cross that was removed a little less than two weeks ago.

Litigation surrounding the memorial has been ongoing since March 2001, when a lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, arguing that the display of a cross in the memorial violated the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Congress designated the site a national memorial commemorating United States participation in World War I and honoring the American veterans of that War. The National Park Service was subsequently enjoined from displaying the cross.

In April, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the cross could stay up, for now, and referred the case back to the lower courts. The American Legion has been a strong supporter of the cross, filing crucial amicus (friend-of-the-court) briefs in favor of the cross staying put.

Park law enforcement is investigating the removal of the original cross as well as this most recent incident involving the replica cross. Anyone with information about either incident is asked to call the Mojave National Preserve tip line at (760) 252-6120.

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Marat B.

May 27, 2010 - 9:40pm

This is a travesty no matter how you look at it. National Parks are public property. Park law enforcement is not there to do anything more than protect, not make judgment calls. A memorial such as the one so desecrated should be treated as a crime against freedom of speech and expression. It should if nothing else be subject to "grandfathering". I am sick and tired of "The United States in name only" and it's tyrannical philosophies so frighteningly Fascist/Communistic. The disrespect for all American institutions, traditions, and heritage should be treated in kind, as traitorous activity. This is not the country into which I was born and grew up in,and it sickens me!

Jayhawk

May 21, 2010 - 8:27am

The first paragraph states that a replica of the cross was installed on May 19 and then was removed by park employees. The last paragraph states that Park law enforcement is investigating the removal of the original and replica cross. Maybe they should talk to the park employees who according to the article removed the replica.

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