World War 1, also known as the Great War, began in July 1914 and ended in November 1918. The United States committed a total of 4,355,000 troops to the war effort. We suffered 116,516 killed, 204,002 wounded and 4,500 prisoners or missing for a total casualty count of 323,018.
My own family suffered a loss in the Great War. Oard Meneese Richardson, an older cousin of my dad was killed in Germany on June 11, 1918, six months to the day before the war ended. Oard was only 22 years old and had gotten married just before he shipped out.
The citizens of Prince George County, Maryland lost 49 of their young men in the same war. In 1925, to honor the men who made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom, the residents of the county erected a memorial cross that has become known as the Bladensburg or Peace Cross.
The cross has stood proudly as a testimony to the men for almost 90 years now, but that historic monument may not make it to 100 years if local atheists have their way.
According to reports, one atheist was riding around the town on his bike when he first saw the cross. He said he was horrified to see the cross in a public place and immediately contacted other atheists who began a campaign to have the Peace Cross torn down because they were offended when they saw it.
With the help of the American Humanist Association, the angry atheists filed a federal lawsuit claiming that the cross is a violation of the US Constitution. In their lawsuit, they say that every time they see the cross, they feel that it:
“…associates a Christian religious symbol with the State and gives the impression that the State supports and approves of Christianity, as opposed to other religions, and that the state may even prefer Christians and Christianity over other religions.”
They are demanding that the cross be torn down immediately because of how offensive they feel whenever they pass it by. As pointed out in the article from the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ):
“Of course the cross has long been a symbol of sacrifice and has stood in honor of war heroes for centuries. Imagine their ‘shock’ if they ever visited Arlington National Cemetery a few miles away in Virginia.”
The ALCJ also point out:
“In fact, the Supreme Court has recognized that ‘a Latin cross is not merely a reaffirmation of Christian beliefs. It is a symbol often used to honor and respect those whose heroic acts, noble contributions, and patient striving help secure an honored place in history for this Nation and its people.’”
The atheists who filed the lawsuit against the cross also wrote a letter to authorities demanding the immediate demolition of the cross. In the letter they wrote:
“When considering this matter, you will likely hear from a loud and self-righteous portion of the populace that seeks to see its particular religious symbols preferred by the state.”
The ACLU is responding to that statement, saying:
“It is in fact a small but loud and self-righteous portion of the populace who wish to eradicate any religious symbol in our society with which they disagree, regardless of who it hurts or dishonors, because they have deemed it ‘offensive.’”
“But if they want to hear a loud voice, I think it’s time they and their 24,800 members hear from the American people.”
“The veterans of WWI are no longer here to defend their memorial, yet the price they paid gives us the freedom to defend it for them. If you don’t want this WWI memorial torn down, sign onto our brief today.”
The ACLJ is filing an amicus brief with the court to defend the cross, the veterans who sacrificed their lives for America’s freedom and for the community that erected the cross so long ago that are no longer here to defend it themselves. It’s time that patriotic Americans stand up and make their voices heard in this case and others like it. We need to stop a small minority from stealing any more of our rights, freedoms and history. If we remain silent and sit on our butts and do nothing, these radical hate filled people will continue to cry, whine and stomp their feet until they get their way and we become the persecuted majority.