INDIANAPOLIS — Citing The American Legion’s “historic victory” during an important Supreme Court ruling last year, the head of the nation’s largest veterans organization welcomed another court decision yesterday as a sign that veterans memorials will now have permanent legal protection.
“Last year, The American Legion easily prevailed by a 7-2 ruling protecting a veterans memorial in Bladensburg, Maryland,” said American Legion National Commander James W. “Bill” Oxford. “We said at the time that the ruling in The American Legion v. American Humanist Association was not simply about one cross. It was about protecting the religious freedom of those wishing to honor and memorialize veterans. Thankfully, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals used our earlier victory to reverse a previous decision that called for the removal of a World War II-era cross at a park in Pensacola. The Bayview cross in Florida will remain in place. The American Legion is grateful to our friends and allies in the veterans and legal community who have helped us in this long struggle to protect these precious memorials.”
With a current membership of nearly two million wartime veterans, The American Legion was founded in 1919 on the four pillars of a strong national security, veterans affairs, patriotic youth programs and Americanism. Legionnaires work for the betterment of their communities through nearly 13,000 posts worldwide. From the drafting of the original GI Bill to the creation of the Department of Veterans Affairs, The American Legion, www.legion.org, is the most influential voice for America’s veterans.