Cross our hearts: War monuments keep faith with the nation's heroes
May 26, 2010
Thieves stole the cross-shaped Mojave Desert World War I Memorial during the night of May 9, less than two weeks after the Supreme Court had ruled that the 76-year-old memorial could stay. Because the memorial was on U.S. property, the thieves committed a federal crime; worse, they desecrated a national war memorial that was erected by the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) to honor American service members who have died in battle.
A combat-wounded veteran and recipient of our nation's third-highest medal for bravery - the Silver Star - immediately contacted my nonprofit foundation to offer anonymously a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the criminals. When asked why such a generous reward, the donor simply said, "I wanted to do the right thing."
The right thing is what the Founding Fathers did when they created the Constitution's Establishment Clause, which prohibits government from establishing a national religion. The Establishment Clause has generally been interpreted to prohibit Congress from establishing a national religion or preferring one religion over another...
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