Los Angeles Times – 8/16/2006
The ACLU of Louisiana has stepped up its demands that the St. Bernard Parish not build a memorial to the victims of Hurricane Katrina which would feature as part of it, a cross.
The ACLU contends that the land upon which the memorial would be built is public – but it is not! They also contend that because local government officials were part of the committee that chose the location — and the location is near a public waterway, it would be unconstitutional for the memorial to be marked with a cross.
The memorial is scheduled to be erected on the 1st anniversary of the storm, August 29. It is a 13-foot high, 7-foot-wide gold-plated, stainless steel cross bearing a silver artistic rendering of the face of Jesus. An accompanying stone monument will be inscribed with the names of the parish’s storm dead and the 20 who were never found.
Parish President Henry “Junior” Rodriguez said of the ACLU, “I don’t know what their problem is…(w)e’re just trying to memorialize the people who passed away during Hurricane Katrina. This has nothing to do with religion. We’re going to memorialize these people, whether the ACLU likes it or not.”
According to local ACLU Executive Director Joe Cook, they are waiting to receive information about the project and the involvement of parish employees, at which point the ACLU will take action. Stay tuned ……