The Christian Post website reports today (May 11,2010) that a seven-foot war memorial cross at the center of a nearly 10-year court battle was reported stolen.
The metal cross -- anchored by rocks and concrete at the Mojave National Preserve in California -- was removed Sunday night (May 9), said Liberty Institute, the group representing those who want the cross to remain in place.
"This is outrage, akin to desecrating people's graves," said Kelly Shackelford, president and CEO of Liberty Institute, in a statement today.
The 76-year-old war memorial cross was erected by the Veterans of Foreign Wars, a private organization to honor the sacrifices of American military personnel who died in service.
A former National Park Services employee, Frank Buone -- represented by the American Civil Liberties Union -- filed a lawsuit in 2001 against the Mojave Desert memorial arguing that the cross represented government endorsement of the Christian religion.
On April 28, 2010, the Supreme Court ruled the war memorial could stay standing at the Mojave National Preserve.