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Cross’ 17-year legal battle stems from religious roots

People gathered at the Mount Soledad Cross Monday to remember this nation's fallen soldiers. The symbol has fueled a seventeen year legal battle. KPBS Reporter Joanne Faryon explains, the cross's arduous past is marked by vandalism, violent weather and even the Ku Klux Klan.

Old newspaper clippings tell the story of the Mount Soledad cross. It begins in 1913.

The first was dragged up the mountain for early morning church services. Ten years
later, it was stolen. That same year, a much more sinister cross stood there. A 1923 article describes it as a huge flaming cross, a calling card from the Ku Klux Klan. In 1934, another cross was erected. Twenty years later, it was destroyed by high winds. The current concrete symbol was dedicated Easter Sunday, 1954. The San Diego Union writes, the cross will be the scene of Easter sunrise services in future years. City leaders did not anticipate the cross' most grueling challenge to date, a 1989 lawsuit questioning a religious symbol on city owned land. Joanne Faryon, KPBS News.

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