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Lake Elsinore Moves Forward On Controversial Veterans Memorial

During a regularly scheduled meeting, city council members voted 5-0 to approve the memorial for veterans that depicts both a cross and a Star of David.

The yet-to-be constructed Lake Elsinore Veterans Memorial will display religious symbols, it was decided Tuesday night.

During a regularly scheduled meeting, city council members voted 5-0 to approve the memorial for veterans that depicts both a cross and a Star of David. (See attached artist’s rendering of the memorial.)

The $46,000 granite memorial to be constructed by Sun City Granite will be permanently installed at the entrance of The Diamond Stadium.

In front of a standing-room-only crowd Tuesday that included dozens of veterans, council members heard comments both for and against the monument.

Lake Elsinore resident Barbara Anderson said the religious symbols leave out veterans who may not practice Christianity or Judaism. Bill Limebrook said the memorial lacked artistic merit, and a handful of others criticized the monument’s installation at The Diamond saying the memorial should be more accessible to all.

However, when the unanimous vote was cast, many in the audience rose to their feet and applauded the council’s decision to approve the memorial.

None of the council members publicly asked City Attorney Barbara Leibold for her opinion on the legal risk associated with installing a taxpayer-funded monument containing religious symbols in a public space. The issue has been tried in the courts – including in June when the U.S. Supreme Court refused to review a lower court ruling that found the cross on San Diego’s Mount Soledad is unconstitutional.

After Tuesday’s meeting adjourned, Patch asked Leibold for her comment on the issue. She would only say there is “passion on both sides of the issue,” but admitted the city does face potential litigation over the matter. “It’s always the case,” she said.

Fatneck November 14, 2012 at 10:51 PM
No such thing as a foxhole atheist! Great job city council members from a vet!
BLUESGUITAR777 November 14, 2012 at 11:07 PM
Agreed. Thank you LE City Council.
Christi November 15, 2012 at 12:12 AM
If I'm wrong let me know, but isn't the Storm stadium privately owned? If so there is no legality to religious symbols on anything. That is only on Govt land.
The Teller of Truth November 15, 2012 at 12:15 AM
Good job LE City Council!!
Roberto November 15, 2012 at 12:35 AM
Great job Lake Elsinore City Council. I'm sure athsist, perv's & criminals won't let it go and the private funding set asaide to fight this in the court room will be needed.
Constant Comment November 15, 2012 at 01:08 AM
@Roberto, the lawyers to defend this monument have already agreed to do so pro bono (for free). Great job to the LE City Council for approving the design & a big thank you to all the Veterans out there that supported this meeting. }~)
julian November 15, 2012 at 03:37 AM
What would really be brave is if someone actually stood up to keep religious iconography out of the government domain. Thanking veterans has nothing to do with this now. Seems now to be more about towing a religious line than thanking veterans who defended religious freedom -including freedom from religion.
Joey Adams November 15, 2012 at 04:27 AM
Please tell me, what does this have to do with atheism?
Joey Adams November 15, 2012 at 04:34 AM
Why? Since it's not on government owned land or in a government funded building us atheists, pervs and criminals won't mind to much. Except that it leaves out the lack of religion or other religions that Lake Elsinore Veterans may or may not have had. It's not unconstitutional, just unethical.
Joey Adams November 15, 2012 at 04:40 AM
Hey it's a start. https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/remove-god-we-trust-us-currency-and-remove-under-god-pledge-allegiance/518NJvfp
Roberto November 15, 2012 at 05:30 AM
Freedom from also means freedom of religion. Historical presentations cannot be be banned by the givernment as this is a freedom of expression.....not an expression of any particular religion, I'm sure crescent would be welcome nearby as an accomodation and any other reasonable accomodation. Sick and tired of the atheist persecution of religion. Seems that if you a'int a Saint, then your ostasized as a hypocrite by the negative liberals. We are saved, not perfect.
Constant Comment November 15, 2012 at 05:49 AM
This monument is not intended to make a religious statement. It is an accurate historical depiction of a WWII era soldier kneeling at a gravesite overseas. The memorial in question is a soldier or marine from WWII. He holds in one hand a rifle called an M1 Garand. In his other hand he holds an M1 helmet. These are both WWII and Korean Conflict issue. Because the soldier or marine is kneeling at a cross, that would place the engraving in the WWII era. He could not be from the Korean War because all those killed in action during that conflict were returned to the U.S. for interment. In other words, they were not buried in cemeteries in Korea with rows of crosses. The cross shaped gravestone is readily recognized from that era as representing those killed on foreign soil. I recommended the monument have a Star of David added to it, as that also more accurately depicts a gravestone from this era. Ms. Melendez
N1smo2go November 15, 2012 at 05:58 AM
More accessible to all? You need a car to go anywhere here, please stop with the nonsense. That is a gravesite, like all our national cemetaries that have soldiers buried in them have either a cross or a cross on their marker they are allowed to display the emblem of their belief even if they are "atheist", every belief is included from the VA. The city can choose by their elected members to create one as they fit by their elected party based on majority rule and place it on private land to avert, nefarious parties from engaging in stupid lawsuits. If you dont like if excercise your vote and vote them out of office but I doubt that will happen. It was a wise decision to put it at the Diamond, where most people in the area congregate and the city holds alot of events. It's fitting tribute to my fellow Veterans, past, present and future that will uphold the traditions of this country.
ndahauz November 15, 2012 at 08:17 AM
It will hopefully be seen as a memorial to all our veterans, past and future. Thank you.
Keith Haworth November 15, 2012 at 02:36 PM
I think the city owns it
CB November 15, 2012 at 04:16 PM
Amen! Amen! Amen!
Antonio November 15, 2012 at 04:50 PM
Exposes the city to litigation ($), excludes some vets, pricey, inaccessible. LE City Council took the easy way out (didn't exercise leadership) and didn't protect the taxpayers. Overall, bad day for the City.
Roberto November 15, 2012 at 05:27 PM
Have to recognize the good votes by the city council as well as the bad. This is a great display of unity in the community.
Art November 15, 2012 at 05:47 PM
Great job! Thank you very much, from a Vet.
Constant Comment November 15, 2012 at 09:17 PM
Lyn, why so miserable? No faith? }~(
Reverend Smith November 16, 2012 at 03:08 PM
I think you are confusing "aetheist" with "Christian". This just goes to show what a bunch of ignorant, redneck SOB's this town is made up of. Go ahead and christen your great white elephant revival tent the 'Lord's Stadium' and be done with it. You'll lose half your ball fans. But you'll probably draw redneck Repubicans from miles around.
Reverend Smith November 16, 2012 at 03:09 PM
I think the city owned it, but sold the great white elephant when they finally realized they'd been taken by the scoundrels who convinced them to use tax-payer money to fund it's construction.
Reverend Smith November 16, 2012 at 03:24 PM
A cross is a symbol of Christianity - in particular. People are sometimes offended by symbols of other religions on public institutions. It breaks down national unity. That's why the founding fathers wrote separation of the state from religions. They were educated men, not a bunch of Elsinore rednecks. I presume that if you are "saved" at it was by your own choice. Some choose not to be "saved". They just want to see a baseball game.
Reverend Smith November 16, 2012 at 03:26 PM
At the rate Elsinore city council is going, we're going to be having a special election soon. Maybe they stopped paying their Mafia dues so they're all being outed for their indiscretions.

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