People of Northwest Public Radio
Coos Bay Cross
Wed April 3, 2013
Coos Bay Engages Law Firm To Deal With Cross Challenge
Coos Bay is facing a challenge on the constitutionality of a cross in a city park. It's getting help from a Texas-based organization that fights for public religious displays.
The cross was placed at Mingus Park in 1972 to commemorate those who died in the Vietnam War. A resident of a nearby town complained about the cross recently. Then Coos Bay leaders received a letter from Wisconsin based "Freedom from Religion Foundation," which demanded the cross be removed because it's unconstitutional.
Roger Craddock is Coos Bay City Manager. He estimates nearly 300 people showed up for a meeting Tuesday about the cross.
"There was a lot of veterans that were there that wanted it kept," Craddock says. "And they didn't believe it was a religious symbol. It was just a symbol identifying the sacrifice made by the men and women that lost their lives in that war, 20 of which I believe was from our community."
Craddock says the city is not being sued, yet. But, several law firms have offered pro bono representation. He says they've engaged The Liberty Institute to look into the case.
Craddock says Coos Bay is currently just trying to keep core services on a limited budget.
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