The wooden cross erected in what was open land in 1934, sat silently in the desert, subjected to the weather, occasional vandals but maintained by those Veterans and later by friends of the Veterans.
The land was made part of a Federal Reserve in 1994 and due to deterioration of the original wooden cross, caretakers replaced it with a metal cross, somehow enraging a park ranger, Frank Buono who waited until he retired on a comfortable taxpayer paid pension, to seek the assistance of the ACLU to file a lawsuit to have it removed.
The court battles lasted over a decade, seeing the cross at one time fully covered a in a wooden box, just in case someone drove over a hundred miles out of their way and happened to stumble across the cross in the middle of nowhere to ensure their sensitivities would not be offended.
Even after the courts ruled the cross could be uncovered, unknown vandals snuck into the desert and stole the cross in the dead of night while the ACLU fought against a replacement being allowed erected on the original spot.
Eventually, the case was settled with a land swap first offered at the beginning of the controversy and the replacement metal cross that was stolen was found, re-erected and rededicated.
Veterans and freedom loving Americans won one.
My friend and former ACLU attorney, Rees Lloyd forwarded me a short post he has authored reporting that now, for the first time in over a decade, 2013 will see Easter Sunrise Services held at the Mojave Desert Veterans Memorial Cross.
I’ll let you read Rees’ words for yourself.
Comrades, Colleagues, and Patriots:
Allow me perhaps politically incorrectly (for which I have absolutely no apology), to wish one and all – “Happy Easter!”
It is a particularly happy Easter for me because -- as told in the accompanying story published by www.WND.com -- for the first time in some twelve years Americans will be able to exercise freedom of religion by attending Easter Sunrise Services at the resurrected Mojave Desert Veterans Memorial Cross.
This is because patriotic Americans, including particularly the wartime veterans of the VFW and The American Legion, took a stand for freedom of religion and defeated the self-righteous, intolerant, totalitarian, secular-extremist progressive liberals of the ACLU, the Taliban of American Liberal Secularism, who sued for over ten years to destroy that Cross in the desert honoring veterans.
I salute and thank all those who stood, fought, and caused the ACLU ultimately to surrender in its cross-destroying secular-cleansing fanaticism, attempting to transform America by wiping out our own American religious history and heritage from the public square, and thus from the public memory and contemporary public mind.
Most particularly, I thank the two self-described “ordinary Americans trying to do the right thing” at the heart of this victory for religious freedom, Henry and Wanda Sandoz of Yucca Valley, CA, modest models of American patriotism, possessed of common sense and humble faith in God and country, without whom the ACLU could not have been defeated and the Cross honoring veterans resurrected.
Please, on this Easter weekend, a time of resurrection, take a moment to read about Henry and Wanda Sandoz and this victory for freedom in www.WND.com, which has provided the most accurate, most consistent reporting on this long battle against the ACLU for religious freedom for over a decade in www.WND.com and WND’s “Whistle-blower” magazine, for which I thank WND.com, its founder Joseph Farah, Managing Editor David Kupelian, and all of its editors and reporters:
This Easter, a cross the ACLU can't touch
(Life Member Riverside Post 79; Past Commander District 21;
Co-founder and Director, Defense of Veterans Memorials Project of The American Legion Department of California.)
Yes, inviting news to read the ACLU lost one and people are once again free to exercise their choice of religion, even when they choose out in the middle of nowhere.
But we cannot let our guard down with one victory. Sadly, Veterans Memorials remain under assault all across America by Secular Atheist groups who demand their destruction if they contain a simple cross, even though they might have stood peacefully for several decades.
Mt. Soledad Cross has been the subject of an ACLU assault since 1989 to have it declared “unconstitutional.”
This assault has yet to be settled as litigation continues.
The fight goes on as we battle Secularism to preserve our Veterans Memorials.
But we can take a few moments of respite this Easter to once again reflect on what our freedoms cast and honor not only the resurrection of Christ, but pay homage to those who made the ultimate sacrifice in order for us to worship as we choose.