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Fight to save Mount Soledad cross continues

Mount Soledad Cross Controversy.jpg

Because it sits on public property, critics have long argued that the cross at the Mount Soledad Veterans Memoria in La Jolla, Calif., is an unconstitutional entanglement of government and religion. (AP File)

The Mount Soledad Memorial Association has filed an appeal with the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in a bid to save a cross in Southern California that honors Korean War veterans.

Last week U.S. District Judge Larry Burns ordered that the cross be removed from atop Mount Soledad because it was an unconstitutional religious display on government land. The judge immediately stayed his order pending the expected appeal.

“If we fail to preserve this veterans memorial and the ACLU is successful in tearing down the oldest Korean War veterans memorial in the United States, then so too will be the fate of other veterans memorials like it, including the Canadian Cross of Sacrifice and the Argonne Cross in Arlington Cemetery,” said Hiram Sasser, director of litigation for Liberty Institute, one of the law firms representing the memorial association.

The Mount Soledad Veterans Memorial was erected with help from the American Legion in 1954 and is the nation’s oldest Korean War veterans' memorial.

MSMA President Bruce Bailey told Fox News they will “continue to fight to preserve it for future generations.”

And Allyson Ho, the lead counsel for the MSMA said they are prepared to take the case all the way to the Supreme Court.

The original lawsuit was filed in 2006 by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of the Jewish Veterans of the United States of American and several other Southern California residents.

“We support the government paying tribute to those who served bravely in our country’s armed forces,” the ACLU’s Daniel Mach, said in a statement to the San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper. “But we should honor all of our heroes under one flag, not just one particular religious symbol.”

Todd Starnes is host of Fox News & Commentary, heard on hundreds of radio stations. Sign up for his American Dispatch newsletter, be sure to join his Facebook page, and follow him on Twitter. His latest book is "God Less America."

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