After World War I, many U.S. soldiers moved to the Mojave desert to find physical and emotional healing.
In 1934, a group of veterans erected a single white cross, to honor their fallen comrades.
The site for the memorial was chosen because at a certain time of day, the sun casts a shadow on the rock which resembles a World War I doughboy.
A plaque was placed at the base of the cross explaining that the cross is a war memorial.
For more than 75 years, the memorial has stood as a reminder that there were those who fought and died for our freedoms.
In the intervening years, the property has been taken over by the government as part of the Mojave National Park.
For the past 30 years, the memorial has been torned down repeated by anti-military and anti-religion protestors. Each time, veterans have replaced it.
In 2001, a man who lives in Oregon and has never visited the cross said he was offended by the cross and sued to have the cross removed because it violated “the seperation of church and state”. He is represented by the ACLU.
(Sadly the plantiff, Mr. Buono, in court documents, describes himself as a Catholic.)
A California federal judge and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal have found in the ACLU’s favor. The case, Salazar v. Buono, will be heard this year in the US Supreme Court.
This is what the memorial used to look like.
This is what the memorial look like today.
A federal court judge ordered the cross covered in a plywood box pending the outcome of the case.