Bladensburg WW I veterans memorial cross

The forty foot cross of cement and marble is also referred to as the "Peace Cross".  It was erected by the Snyder-Farmer Post of the American Legion of Hyattsville to remember the forty-nine men of Prince George’s County who died in World War I. The cross was dedicated on July 13, 1925. A bronze tablet at the base of the monument contains the words of Woodrow Wilson: “The right is more precious than the peace; we shall fight for the things we have always carried nearest our hearts; to such a task we dedicate ourselves.”  At the base of the monument are the words, “Valor, Endurance, Courage, Devotion.”  A gold star appears at the center of the cross.

It is located where Route 1 and Bladensburg Road converge near the mouth of the Anacostia River.  The memorial is maintained by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission on land that belongs to the state of Maryland.

The Secular Coalition for Maryland is troubled that the state of Maryland is maintaining a memorial that features as it's centerpiece two universally recognized symbols of Christianity, a Roman crucifixion cross and a star of Bethlehem.  We do not know if all of the 49 veterans were Christians, but even if they were there are many non-Christian veterans, family members of veterans, and citizens of Prince George County and Maryland, as well some Christians who believe that Christians should not participate as combatants in such armed conflicts, such as Jehovah Witnesses who also believe Jesus Christ was crucified on a pole lacking a horizontal beam.  Accordingly, we call on the state of Maryland to either amend the memorial so that it does not feature a crucifixion cross, or else remove the memorial from state property so that it can be maintained by a private group.