Controversial Mojave Cross stolen

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010 By

Mojave Desert

The controversial cross was stolen out of the Mojave Desert. Image from Wikimedia Commons

Just weeks after a decision by the Supreme Court to keep a large cross erected in a state park in California, there’s been a strange turn of events. It appears the Mojave Cross was stolen.  It isn’t known who did the deed or why.  Speculation is likely to run rampant, but the cross put up as a World War I veterans memorial has been pilfered from its hill.  The hefty cash advances given to attorneys to keep the cross erect seem to have been in vain.

Mojave Cross stolen in the night

Though some have disagreed with the existence of the Mojave Cross, to see the Mojave Cross stolen is at minimum tantamount to sacrilege. The Mojave Cross in question was put up as a veterans memorial by the Veterans of Foreign Wars to commemorate the fallen of World War I.  The Supreme Court had ruled the Mojave Cross constitutional in spite of objections that it didn’t properly honor veterans that were not of the Christian faith who have served in the Armed Forces.

Someone had to go to great lengths

The Mojave Cross is 7 feet tall, and not exactly built out of balsa wood. According to CNN, the most recent incarnation (it has been rebuilt several times) is constructed of 3-inch metal pipe and reinforced with concrete, according to Henry Sandoz, the caretaker of the monument. It will likely be rebuilt. The rugged construction and remote location would suggest that it was not just a simple theft for scrap metal, and it may have been done out of spite.

What is being done?

The Veterans of Foreign Wars intends to put up an exact replica of the monument.  The organization also is offering a reward for information leading to the recovery of the Mojave Cross or to the arrest and/or conviction of the thieves.

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