Thursday, July 30, 2009

ACLU Targets War Memorial

Mojave Desert Cross, Don't Tear Me Down!

By Tony Vega

"Any nation that does not honor its heroes will not long endure"~ [attributed to] Abraham Lincoln

In 1934, the VFW erected a wooden cross in the Mojave Desert as a memorial to their fallen brethren. The wooden cross was later converted to white painted metal and stands 8-feet tall. The current version was constructed and maintained by Henry Sandoz. Mr. Sandoz takes care of the area in memory of his late friend, J. Riley Bembry, who helped construct the original cross.

In 1994, the VFW donated the land to the government for the Mojave Land Preserve. The preserve encompasses 1.6 million acres of the Mojave Desert in California and falls under the auspices of the National Park Service (NPS)

In 1999, the ACLU demanded the Mojave Cross be removed because its display on federal land violated the Constitution's establishment clause. The memorial received widespread support and rankled only a former NPS employee, Frank Buono.

In 2000, the NPS exchanged several letters with the ACLU in an attempt to save the memorial. The ACLU responded by threatening to go after individual park employees if the memorial was not torn down. The NPS relented and was bullied into compliance.

In December 2000, Rep. Jerry Lewis got involved and had an appropriations bill disallow the NPS from using government funds to dismantle the cross, which gave the memorial a well deserved reprieve.

In March 2001, the ACLU made good on its threats and filed their lawsuit. In December 2001, Lewis rallied again and successfully had the Mojave Cross declared a national memorial in honor of World War 1 veterans.

In 2002, U.S. District Court Judge Robert Timlin ruled in favor of the ACLU and ordered the cross removed, but he failed to set a deadline. The Justice Department slowly navigated the murky waters of the courts decision and the Congressional ruling that designated the Mojave Cross a World War 1 national memorial.

During the legal maneuvering, the Justice Department had the cross covered by a plastic tarp. Patriots and Defenders of Freedom did not stand for that and removed the covering.

Henry and Wanda Sandoz landowners in the confines of the Preserve and caretakers of the Memorial Cross donated five acres of their own property to the NPS. This donation enabled the one-acre encompassing the Mojave Cross to be returned back to the VFW.

The ACLU did not relent and argued that the land transfer was unconstitutional, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed. The Bush administration appealed that decision and asserted that the land transfer was "an eminently sensible and constitutionally permissible way of resolving any establishment clause problem."

In February 2009, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the Mojave Cross case (now known as Salazar vs. Bruno). The Mojave Cross, a designated World War 1 memorial is now covered by a plywood box awaiting that decision.

The transfer of the federal land back to private ownership and in the hands of our defenders of Freedom not only enriches the government but also satisfies any "establishment clause" issues.

The devil is in the details, the ACLU does not care about civil liberties. They simply wish to target and attack sacred and traditional American symbols to further a radical agenda. They have the money, ergo the power to wield their ugly influence.

"It is bad enough to say that the veterans' memorial is unconstitutional, but it is outrageous to say that the government cannot give the monument back to the people who spilled their blood and put it there in the first place."- Kelly Shackelford, chief counsel of Liberty Legal Institute and attorney for the veterans groups.

An ACLU victory will put other veterans memorials in the cross hairs. Folks, do not allow this [Anti] American Civil Liberties Union to tear down this war memorial.



Frank said...

Stop the ACLU!

Anonymous said...

Time for people to realize that the only civil rights the ACLU is concerned with is the civil rights of communists and socialists and people who happen to hate America and its Founding. They were established, organized, and led by communists throughout their history.

So the news here is that nothing changes.

Justice Lives Not said...

Don't these people have JOBS, tony, or are their 'jobs' only to annoy and harass people who do nothing to harm anyone?

Where was the ACLU when Campeos and Ramon were unjustly incarcerated? Where was them butt-wipes when the New Haven firefighters were unjustly passed over for promotion.

As far as I am concerned, they can go straight to hell until they actually start giving a damn about REAL civil rights!

jenn157 said...

I saw this story on the news this morning and I was sickened by what the ACLU is doing. I am so sick of people screaming this offends me. If you don't like it. Don't look at it. This memorial was put up by our soldiers that went to war for the freemdom that we as a country enjoy everyday and for someone to say that a memorial that they put up so many years ago affends thems in some way. That is totally discusting to me. These men are heros and by doing what the ACLU is doing to them is like saying that we do not appreciate what they did for us.

Jennifer Lyles

Andy said...

Its time to tear down the ACLU. They stand for everything that is un-American and it is time for them to go. How about a class action law suit to disband the ACLU forever for infinging on the rights of those Americans who do believe in GOD. We are the majority in this country with about 95% of our wonderful citizens being believers. Enough is enough it is time to stand up to radicals and put them down forever.