Mojave Memorial Cross and Sunrise Rock, Mojave National Preserve, California. 29-1-2002.
The original Mojave Cross was erected in 1934 to honor those killed in war. It was boarded up after lower court rulings declared it illegal because of separation of church and state constitutional concerns.
On April 28, 2010, the US Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision sent the case back to a lower court. The high court ruled there was no violation of the separation of church and state when Congress transferred the land surrounding the cross to a veterans group. Writing for the majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote, "The goal of avoiding governmental endorsement [of religion] does not require eradication of all religious symbols in the public realm".
On the night of May 9–10, 2010, the cross was cut down and stolen from its place on Sunrise Rock. National Park Service spokeswoman Linda Slater said a $125,000 reward has been offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the thieves.
In April 2012, a land exchange to remove Sunrise Rock from the Mojave National Preserve was approved by the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
On Veterans Day, November 11, 2012, the cross was rededicated in a ceremony. (Wikipedia)
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