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Posted at 11:32 AM on Wednesday, May 27, 2009 by post4486(Via VFW Wisconsin)
Mojave veterans memorial
By Glen M. Gardner Jr.
Many Americans think of Memorial Day as a three-day weekend at the beach, but to those of us who have worn the uniform and to our families, who also have sacrificed, Memorial Day is a day of remembrance.
Remembering is what a group of veterans had in mind in 1934 when they erected a simple memorial in the shape of a cross to honor 53,000 Americans who had died in battle during our nation's 19-month involvement in what was called the "War to End All Wars."
Seventy-five years later, the U.S. Supreme Court will determine whether that gesture of respect violates the U.S. Constitution's separation of church and state. This is because the memorial resides on federal property in the middle of California's Mojave National Preserve.
More is at stake, however, than just the fate of a 7-foot-tall white cross atop Sunrise Rock - currently covered with a plywood box by lower court order. The real issue behind Salazar v. Buono is whether the use of religious symbolism in veterans memorials on public property violates the Establishment Clause.
If the High Court rules in favor of the plaintiff, every such memorial across the land will be in jeopardy of being torn down - and the ultimate loser will be America. That's because veterans memorials help our nation remember what came before.