Representatives Buck McKeon, Jerry Lewis and Ken Calvert condemned the vandalism to the Mojave Cross war memorial, which was torn down Sunday night.“The discovery that the Mojave Cross has been stolen is harsh and disheartening news to many of us in Congress and most certainly to the Veterans of Foreign Wars,” said McKeon.
“While I understand the Mojave Cross has faced some controversy, it exists as an earnest memorial for our nation’s veterans who lost their lives in service to America. It is my hope the VFW and the National Park Service will come to a speedy recovery of the Mojave Cross in honor of our veterans.”
The Mojave Cross has been the subject of debate as the Supreme Court recently remanded the case back to federal court and allowed the cross to remain on public land, despite challenges by the American Civil Liberties Union that the cross violates the separation of church and state.
“The Mojave War cross has long been a symbol of the many brave Americans who gave their life to our country in battle,” said Calvert. “The illegal removal of the cross by vandals is an insult to anyone who has ever served in the U.S. Armed Forces; a repulsive act which violates every code of honor and decency. I will be working with my good friend Congressmen Lewis and McKeon, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Liberty Institute, and all other involved entities to replace the cross to its rightful spot atop Sunrise Rock in the Mojave National Preserve.”
“I am disgusted that someone would do such a shameful act of thoughtless vandalism to a memorial that has stood for 70 years honoring those who died for our country,” said Lewis. “Whatever the motivation of the vandals, their action is an affront to veterans and those who have defended our nation. I call upon the National Park Service to work with the Veterans of Foreign Wars to recover the Mojave Cross memorial.”
All three congressmen represent districts in Southern California.