World War 1 memorial cross to be removed

A federal appeals court is standing by a ruling that calls for the removal or destruction of a cross-shaped, 40-foot monument on public land that has towered over a busy intersection for nearly 100 years.

In a closely divided vote, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit refused to reconsider an earlier decision that found government funding for the 40-foot-tall memorial in suburban Prince George’s County to be an unconstitutional endorsement of religion.

The 8-6 vote drew passionate dissents from several judges who said it puts other monuments on public grounds nationwide at risk. The case could end up before the Supreme Court, which has not provided clear guidance about displays of religion on government land.

Supporters of the Peace Cross, who say it is a secular tribute to local men killed in World War I, vowed to appeal. STAR DEMOCRAT

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