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Opinion: Will this be the last Memorial Day for the Bladensburg monument?

May 25, 2018

By: Hiram Sasser, First Liberty Institute Senior Counsel. Originally published on the Washington Examiner on May 18, 2018.

The Bladensburg World War I veterans memorial is more than a monument. It’s a gravestone for 49 men and boys who died in defense of our freedom on European soil.

The mothers whose sons never returned from the war to end all wars put it near what should have been their hometown, not knowing whether their bones would ever come back to American soil.

How much longer it will stand is now up to the U.S. Supreme Court, the last hope for preserving this 90-year-old memorial Peace Cross.

After standing for nearly 100 years, the Bladensburg memorial is under siege. Not from the metro D.C. traffic that careens past it every day on Maryland’s Veterans Memorial Highway, but from a handful of angry atheists offended by its shape.

Last fall, two judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, located in Richmond, Va., determined that this cross-shaped gravestone somehow violates the Constitution’s establishment clause, prohibiting state-sponsored religion. During oral arguments, one of the judges actually questioned whether or not the memorial would be constitutional if “we just chopped off the arms.”

Chop the arms off of a veterans memorial?

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