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January 27, 2010 / Steve

Day 27 – The Controversial Cross

Today, I visited Mount Soledad at lunch. Having been there before, I knew there would be great views of the city and coast. Beautiful panoramas are easily captured from this second highest spot near metro San Diego, and I accomplished that in short order. However, like many times before during this project, I was more inspired by something else.

Mount Soledad is known for the large white cross adorning the peak. It marks the spot of the Veteran’s War Memorial. The cross has been on the hill since 1913 but in recent years, it’s been the object of much controversy. To make a long story short, those against it say that it’s illegal to display a religious symbol, such as a cross, on public land. Fortunately, there’s a much larger group of people who do not want to see it removed. The site has long served as a gathering spot for Memorial and Veterans Day events for generations, and there is a deep connection to the community. It’s a special place for many.

What you don’t see in this picture are the walls surrounding the cross that are covered with hundreds of stone plaques etched with the pictures and stories of soldiers from past wars. It’s quite a place to visit; you’ll feel humbled, yet proud. Personally, I hope it stays there forever. San Diego is a military town, and I think this memorial’s prominence is more than fitting.

If you’re one of those people who still thinks having the cross here is wrong, I suggest you visit this spot on either Memorial Day or Veterans Day. You’ll get to meet some veterans and family members of the service men and women on the plaques that gather here on those holidays. You might feel different about it then…

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