Originally published in The Washington Post on June 25, 2018
Supporters of a towering cross-shaped memorial at a busy intersection in Maryland asked the Supreme Court on Monday to prevent the monument from being moved or destroyed.
The American Legion wants the high court to reverse an appeals court’s ruling that said the monument, on public land and maintained with taxpayer money, is unconstitutional because it “excessively entangles the government in religion.”
The Supreme Court has not given clear guidance when it comes to displays of religion on public sites, allowing some monuments with religious content to stand while rejecting others.
At issue in Prince George’s County is a 40-foot-tall cross built in 1925 to honor local men who died in World War I. The marble-and-cement monument was funded by local families and the American Legion but is now owned by a state agency, the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission.
To The American Legion:
As a grateful citizen, I support your effort to honor those who have fallen in battle and to keep the Bladensburg WWI Veterans Memorial standing as a visible reminder of valor, sacrifice, endurance, and devotion.
Veterans memorials like the one in Bladensburg, MD are symbols reminding us of the sacrifice of our service members and the cost of war. Tearing down the Bladensburg Memorial would erase the memory of the 49 fallen heroes of Prince George’s County—like they never even existed.
We cannot allow the Bladensburg Memorial to be bulldozed.
Please know that you have my support and backing in your petition to the U.S. Supreme Court.✖