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Veterans Resurrect Mojave Desert Cross in Calif. After Decade-Long Dispute
ICC Note:
Veterans Day brought a small but notable success for Christians in the ongoing “culture war” in the U.S. between those with traditional Christian values and groups aiming to remove all references to Christianity from public life. Veterans in California were able to dedicate a war memorial cross on Sunday after a decade long dispute started by the American Civil Liberties Union was finally resolved. The ACLU had filed a suit against the cross back in 2001, stating the existence of the cross on public land was an unconstitutional government endorsement of Christianity.
By Anugrah Kumar
11/12/2012 United States (Christian Post)- A hilltop war memorial cross in California that was deemed an unconstitutional endorsement of Christianity and ordered removed was resurrected on Veterans Day in the Mojave National Preserve.
“Judges and lawyers may have played their roles, but it was the veterans who earned this memorial, and it is for them it rises once more,” The Associated Press quoted attorney Hiram Sasser of the Texas-based Liberty Institute as saying.
Henry Sandoz was taking care of the original 1930s cross as part of a promise to a dying World War I veteran, Riley Bembry.
There were about 100 people when Sandoz rededicated a new, 7-foot steel cross on the same hilltop, on Sunday, more than a decade after a lawsuit backed by the American Civil Liberties Union sought to remove it.
The site, known as Sunrise Rock, is now in private hands, Veterans of Foreign Wars, thanks to a land swap with the National Park Service that ended the longstanding legal dispute. The swap, which involved an exchange with five acres of donated property elsewhere in the 1.6 million acre preserve, was officially completed on Nov. 2.
The donated land was owned by Sandoz and his wife, Wanda, of the town of Yucca Valley, California.
In its 2001 lawsuit on behalf of a retired Park Service employee, the ACLU argued that the existence of the cross on public land amounted to unconstitutional government endorsement of Christianity, and managed to convince two federal courts.

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