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Mega Rally/Protest Tomorrow in Defense of Mt Soledad Veterans Memorial Cross, San Diego

Contact: Mary Moran, 619-972-2221

SAN DIEGO, Jan. 14, 2011 /Christian Newswire/ -- Hundreds maybe thousands of patriotic citizens along with local and national leaders will rally tomorrow 10am PST in San Diego in relentless defense and support of the Mt Soledad Veterans Memorial Cross atop Mt Soledad near La Jolla, Ca.

Fueling the protest rally is the January 4 ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals deeming the Cross within the Mt Soledad Veterans Memorial in San Diego unconstitutional because it conveys the message of "state-endorsed religion."

"This case stands to have significance for the entire nation as it eventually heads to the U.S. Supreme Court." said Charles LiMandr, lead San Diego attorney who has fought pro bono to defend the Memorial for the last six and a half years. "This area of the law needs to be clarified by the Supreme Court to prevent more liberal judges from striking down religious symbols on public property which serve a legitimate secular purpose and in no way establish a national religion."

The 43-foot cross, located in a San Diego public park was dedicated in 1954 to honor veterans of the Korean War. It has been the subject of repeated legal challenges for more than 20 years.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' unanimous ruling on Tuesday January 4 said the decision was in no way "meant to undermine the importance of honoring our veterans." "Indeed, there are countless ways that we can and should honor them, but without the imprimatur of state-endorsed religion," the ruling said

"It is amazing what the 9th Circuit Court judges have inexplicably 'discovered' in the US Constitution in the last 40 years that judges for the previous two hundred years somehow failed to see. We need some 'legal Ritalin' to calm these hyper-activist judges." said Dr. Jim Garlow, Chairman of Renewing America Leadership based in Washington DC, and Senior Pastor of Skyline Wesleyan Church in La Mesa , Ca.

In 2005, San Diego residents overwhelmingly approved a measure to preserve the cross by donating the land on which it sits to the federal government. While the land transfer eventually took place, the Ninth Circuit ruled that this did not protect the cross from the constitutional dispute.

"It's tragic that the court chose a twisted and tired interpretation of the First Amendment over the common sense idea that families of fallen American troops should be allowed to honor these heroes as they choose. No one is harmed, constitutionally or otherwise, by the presence of a cross on a memorial. The memorial cross should stand in honor of the sacrifice made by American troops." said Joe Infranco, Senior Counsel, Alliance Defense Fund

Rally speakers include leaders who have fought over the past decades for the Mt Soledad cross to remain "as it is, where it is": Congressman Duncan Hunter (who has recently introduced a Bill protecting War Memorials), CA. State Senator Joel Anderson, retired Congressman Duncan Hunter, Dr Jim Garlow, Charles LiMandri, Phil Thalheimer, Joe Infranco, Roger Hedgecock, Mark Larson, and Dennis Agajanian and others.