Humanists Win Lawsuit Demanding 92 Year-Old WWI Monument Be Destroyed or Turned Into ‘Slab or Obelisk’

Craig Bannister | October 19, 2017 | 10:56am EDT
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Maryland bought the memorial from the American Legion in 1961. (Screenshot)

Bladensburg, Maryland’s “Peace Cross,” which has stood for 92 years honoring military veterans who died in World War I, has been ruled unconstitutional.

An appeals court ruled that monument, which was purchased by the state from the American Legion 56 years ago, now violates the separation of church and state, The Washington Times reports:

“In a 2-1 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit said the 40-foot cross erected 92 years ago violates the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause.”


“The Bladensburg World War I Veterans Memorial is dedicated to 49 servicemen who perished in WWI. The cross is owned and maintained by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, which acquired it from the American Legion in 1961 due to development around the cross.”

The decision results from a lawsuit by the American Humanists Society, which wants the monument either destroyed or turned into a “non-religious slab or obelisk”:

"In 2014, the American Humanist Association filed a lawsuit asking for the cross to be demolished or altered, such as by removing its arms 'to form a non-religious slab or obelisk.'"

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