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Legion won't accept 'very regrettable' decision

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Calling the latest decision by a federal judge to remove a cross from a veterans memorial “very regrettable,” American Legion National Commander Daniel Dellinger  vowed to continue supporting the legal fight to maintain the symbol that has stood at San Diego’s Mount Soledad for more than half a century.

“The fight for the Mount Soledad Cross perfectly epitomizes what is emblazoned on the back of every American Legion membership card, the words, ‘For God and Country,’” Dellinger said. “Fortunately, the court has stayed the order allowing 90 days to file an appeal. The legal fight has been going on for almost a quarter century and The American Legion, which has previously filed an amicus curiae (friend of court) brief, does not plan to retreat now.”

In addition to the cross, the memorial is accompanied by more than 1,600 plaques bearing names, messages and etched images of veterans. It also includes secular symbols and 18 Stars of David. The case could still be heard by the Ninth Circuit Court and, ultimately, the U.S. Supreme Court.

“There is a popular saying that there are no atheists in foxholes,” Dellinger said. “While I respect the rights of the minority, most veterans are people of religious faith. What about their rights? What about the crosses that are on the graves of U.S. military heroes buried in veterans cemeteries? The American Legion takes these attacks on the religious rights of veterans very seriously and we salute the Liberty Institute and all of those willing to stand up to this intolerance.”

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henry bassman

January 26, 2014 - 10:32am

The U.S. is a multi-religious society. "For God and Country" imprinted on our membership cards does not specify that one religion - Christianity - is our nation's preferred means of worshipping God. Erecting a cross above a memorial for veterans of multiple faiths sends an implicit message endorsing one religion over another. To argue that such an insult to people of other religions who served should be permitted because it is 59 years old is ridiculous. If such an argument were valid, separate drinking fountains and rest rooms for people of different races would still be permitted. Take the cross down and place it on church property.

Tim Deneke

December 18, 2013 - 1:09am

I heard an athiest on the radio state that he did two tours in Iraq and he 's still an athiest.OK,but should yours be the ONLY voice that sets ALL policy in this country?

Bill Douglas

December 16, 2013 - 2:40pm

I think we need new laws that establish "allowable religion promotion" when the members of that group (ie, Veterans) want it. Non veterans have no business making decisions for what veterans want as their 'memorial.'

Jeffrey Brown

September 25, 2014 - 7:18pm

What makes you assume that atheists and Humanists are non-veterans? And every American, regardless of his status as a veteran, is free to seek redress from the government. Veterans are subject to the same Constitution and laws as everyone else.

Dale W.

December 16, 2013 - 8:37pm

What would happen if someone or group were to buy the land the monument is on. Would it be private property and no one would have the say what to do with it.

Jeffrey Brown

September 25, 2014 - 7:22pm

If they moved the cross to private property, there would be no problem. As for buying the land on which it now sits, it's public property, i.e., not for sale.

rfluna2013

December 16, 2013 - 1:47pm

It is a sad day in our country when we give in to all radical minority demands, Santa claus, Jesus Christ, etc.,etc., we should stand firm and demand our rights also, not just cave in to all frivolous demands by haters of this country and for what it stands.

Mark Seavey

December 16, 2013 - 10:05am

Rod- It wasn't that Federal Judges fault, in fact he even said in his opinion that he thought the cross should stay. His opening statement makes that clear: This court previously held (and continues to believe) that permitting a historic, now 59 year-old cross to remain as part of a federal war memorial atop Mount Soledad cannot be reasonably viewed as our government's attempt to establish or to promote religion. But a panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled otherwise.

Rod Herring

December 15, 2013 - 1:23pm

While you're at it... press for the removal of that particular federal judge. He isn't fit to serve!

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