A WWI cross memorial in Bladensburg, Maryland can stay where it is. That’s the word from federal judge Deborah Chasanow (As an aside, Judge Chasanow is a Clinton appointee. She provides heartening proof that liberal appointees don’t always, automatically, hew to all things Left).
The Daily Signal notes, “The monument, built in the shape of a Latin cross by the American Legion and located at the intersection of Maryland Route 450 and U.S. Route 1 in Bladensburg, was first dedicated in 1925, although the effort to raise funds to build the memorial started in late 1918. Since 1960, the monument has been owned and maintained by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. Prior to that time it was owned and maintained by the American Legion.”
The lawsuit against the monument was filed by the American Humanist Association. The catch-phrase on their web site is, “Advocating progressive values and equality for humanists, atheists, and freethinkers”. Three individuals were also plaintiffs in the case, offended by the awful scene of a cross-shaped monument memorializing those who fought in World War One. Their argument? ” “…ownership, maintenance and prominent display of the Monument on public property violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.”
Judge Chasanow concluded the monument doesn’t violate the Constitution and that the “vast majority” of events at the monument and the Veterans Memorial Park in which it stands, have been in “commemoration of Memorial Day or Veterans Day.” I suppose the AHA has some bad vibes about that, too. Thankfully we haven’t heard anything to that effect as of yet.
The plaintiffs basically succeeded in making themselves look like petty fools. Trying anything to make their argument stick, they had to use a Washington Post article from 1931 as part of their case. That article indicated several religious services had been held there in 1931.
They also falsely alleged that the Ku Klux Klan was involved with the monument. To that, the judge stated flatly, the “[p]laintiffs’ suggestion of some connection [to the KKK]is simply wrong.”
In an American Legion article, American Legion Rider Bradford Lee said, “It’s a Peace Cross. It’s a symbol for World War I veterans of P.G. (Prince George) County. It was not put there as a religious symbol. It’s a cross – get over it.”
Another Rider, Jeff Levesque stated, “It’s a memorial. It’s for our veterans. It’s not for them. We don’t take down their stuff – leave ours alone.”
To me, this is just a case of small-minded, bitter people lashing out against anything that isn’t “them”. Thank you Judge Chasanow for striking down this ridiculous lawsuit.
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