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Cross Stolen From World War I Memorial

Mojave National Preserve

National Park News

The cross in the national World War I memorial at Sunrise Rock along Cima Road was reported missing on Monday morning by maintenance staff who went to the site to replace the wooden cover that had been removed from the cross on Saturday. Litigation surrounding the memorial has been ongoing since March, 2001, when a lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, arguing that the display of a cross in the memorial violated the Establishment Clause of the Constitution. Congress designated the site a national memorial commemorating United States participation in World War I and honoring the American veterans of that war. The National Park Service was enjoined from displaying the cross. The wooden cover was reported missing from the cross by rangers on Saturday, and the uncovered cross was seen again by rangers on Sunday afternoon. When park maintenance staff arrived on Monday morning to replace the cover, they found that the entire cross had been removed. Rangers are investigating this crime and have set up a tip line (760-252-6120). The Veterans of Foreign Wars is offering a $25,000 award for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.



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