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If you have not yet been to the Mt. Soledad veterans’ memorial, this is the perfect weekend to visit.

It is a pleasant drive while you rise more than 800 feet above the landscape, with wonderful views all around San Diego County when you reach the top of Mount Soledad, where the memorial is perched. To the East you can see purple mountains’ majesty, and to the West is the shining sea curling onto La Jolla’s lovely beaches.

The awe-inspiring place has been used as a memorial park since 1914. (And the Lindberghs used the breezy hilltop for glider flights in the 1920’s.)

The veterans' memorial displays about three thousand black granite plaques on curved walls around the towering cross, which is in the center. The plaques show the names and faces of war veterans, each has its own story. You can’t help but appreciate the bravery and sacrifice of every one.

On Monday, May 27, Memorial Day, there will be a ceremony from 2:00 p.m. until 3:15 p.m. Color guards and military bands will perform. The keynote speaker is Rear Admiral Sean Pybus, who is Naval Warfare Commander. Rear Admiral Pybus is in charge of the much-celebrated SEALS, among other responsibilities.

The sun might pop in and out of coastal clouds, you would be safe to bring a hat and sunglasses and a jacket, too. You won’t be sorry if you pack some refreshments in the car, and sit on a comfy bench to snack before the ceremony and enjoy the fabulous views.

If the 2 p.m. ceremony Monday doesn’t fit your schedule, you don’t have to wait till then. There is no charge to visit, you can come and go from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

The Mount Soledad Veterans Memorial is located at 6905 La Jolla Scenic Drive South, La Jolla, California 92037.

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Comments

monaghan May 25, 2013 @ 11:25 p.m.

Thanks for nada, Eva. This site is smack in the middle of a San Diego City Park renowned for its vistas night and day -- now diminished by the installation of lights and a sound system so the tiny excuse for a Veterans Memorial topped with an unconstitutional Christian Cross can continue to stick it to the secular tax-paying public of our city.

Really, you could have devoted a few words to educate your readers further: the U.S. Supreme Court last year refused to re-hear an appeal of the Cross-loving "Veterans Memorial Assn." who hoped the Supremes would overturn an earlier 9th District Court ruling that the Mt. Soledad Cross is an unconstitutional religious symbol in a public place. The 9th District Court ruling stands.

If people want to remember American war dead and enjoy a spectacular view, they can take their picnic to Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery on Pt. Loma. It's also free.

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Eva Knott May 26, 2013 @ 5:33 a.m.

Let me reflect for a moment on how you begin your note on Memorial Day Weekend: "thanks for nada." And for you, this day of honor and respect is "if people want to remember American war dead...."

The local chapter of the ACLU has filed suits in both state and federal courts declaring that government is prohibited from “sponsoring this Latin cross on public land.” The ACLU wants the cross, which was put up in 1954 during a ceremony honoring Korean War veterans, removed. The Mount Soledad Memorial Association and Representatives Bilbray and Hunter have fought to win standing to participate in discussions with the district court. Argument in court is next scheduled for September 16, 2013. Don't give up.

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stitch May 26, 2013 @ 10:30 a.m.

The American flag atop Mount Suribachi is a war memorial. Eva, if you do not understand the difference between a religious structure (Christian cross) and four soldiers on the island of Iwo Jima attempting to place a flagpole flying the American flag into the ground atop Mount Suribachi, please ask.

Eva Knott said, "The awe-inspiring place has been used as a memorial park since 1914." Ms. Knott, where have you researched this information in your third paragraph?

The well-researched Wikipedia article "Mount Soledad Cross" makes no mention of "a memorial park since 1914." As a long time La Jollan, I have never heard about "a memorial park since 1914." If you have made an error in your article or received mis-information from an organization in the form of a press release, please inform your readers.

Eva Knott canknott be serious when the secondary title in her article reflects, "Timely ceremony at Mount Soledad veterans' memorial" The title "Mount Soledad veterans' memorial" does not exist in Wikipedia and is the figment of a group of individuals who are attempting to rewrite history.

Prior to 1989 the "Easter Cross" related to the dedication of this Christian erection in 1954 on Easter Sunday by the grandmother of William Kellogg. This awkward attempt by this self-ordained "Mount Soledad veterans' association" began in the years following the successful lawsuit by the late Phillip Paulsen in 1989.

Beginning in 1989 to present, every court has declared this Christian cross to be unconstitutional on public land whether owned by the City of San Diego or the United States (Federal) Government. This is the separation of church and state.

A Christian cross no more represents the American war dead than a Star of David. No Buddhist, Hindu or Jew would have any desire to have a Christian cross on their grave. This Christian cross atop Mount Soledad is an insult to nearly everyone who served their country, including Catholics and Protestants.

I strongly recommend everyone to go to Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery on Point Loma for exquisite views and to remember the American war dead. There are no war dead atop Mount Soledad, only plaques affixed to obfuscate an unconstitutional religious symbol.

The easiest route for everyone would be to remove the arms of the cross. By doing so, this edifice would become a stile. Then Christians could imagine the stile as a cross and non-Christians would envision a war memorial. Eva, take my idea and make it yours in a future article. Now that you have my permission, no one will accuse you of plagiarism.

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stitch May 26, 2013 @ 10:35 a.m.

I have a U.S. Navy retirement. No Christian cross dominates any United States military cemetery, such as Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery (Point Loma), those in Europe, the Philippine Islands (Manila), and Punchbowl on the island of Oahu, Hawaii.

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stitch May 27, 2013 @ 5:05 p.m.

Eva Knott

Everyone has been awaiting your response.

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teddyrodo May 27, 2013 @ 8:05 p.m.

The Cross will be removed. It is a matter of time & a basic understanding of the relationship between government and religion. Nothing is forever. There are "Sell by" and "Consume by" dates on almost everything, eh? Newton's 2nd Law of Thermodynamics - timeflow "carries" matter in the universe towards chaos ... still rules, I believe?

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Visduh May 27, 2013 @ 8:12 p.m.

Eva, this posting and the comments above are a classic illustration of the adage that "no good deed goes unpunished." You described a place that people could go to observe Memorial Day, which is as far as I know the reason to have the holiday and to honor our war dead. For that you were attacked and berated for your choice of words. The hyperbolic comments from stitch, to wit: "A Christian cross no more represents the American war dead than a Star of David. No Buddhist, Hindu or Jew would have any desire to have a Christian cross on their grave. This Christian cross atop Mount Soledad is an insult to nearly everyone who served their country, including Catholics and Protestants" speaks volumes. Oh, "no Buddhist, Hindu or Jew" would want the cross there? Not just a few of those have already testified that they welcome the cross and hope it remains. An "insult to nearly everyone who served their country?" I think not. Maybe to a few, a definite minority. But the matter of the cross staying or being removed doesn't change the fact that it is now, and will remain a memorial to those who served and those who gave their lives.

I am amazed and appalled at the intemperate nature of the comments from both monaghan and stitch, and would hope and expect that most other readers would react in the same way. The entire controversy, if that is how we can describe this vitriol, just detracts from what should be a solemn occasion intended to honor those who died in the service of the United States. One can only marvel at the reasons these commentators have for attacking your blog post.

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teddyrodo May 27, 2013 @ 11:48 p.m.

Mr./Ms. Duh -

"Not just a few of those have already testified that they welcome the cross and hope it remains." Please provide the specifics of the valid scientific poll you reference (inferred).

"Maybe to a few, a definite minority." ditto the above poll.

"But the matter of the cross staying or being removed doesn't change the fact that it is now, and will remain a memorial to those who served and those who gave their lives." Ahhhhh, see my above comment about 1/2 lives (entropy, Sell/consume by date).

" intended to honor those who died in the service of the United States." The Rev. (Hill)Billy Graham, thru a pathogenic umbilical cord he and his ilk established with the ofc of the POTUS, fused Christianity and Patriotism. i.e. To be a Patriot one must be a Christian. To be a Christian one must be a patriot. Thus, the wall separating gov't from religion became blurred. You need to spend a little time with the sites au.org, http://militaryatheists.org/ and http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/. ... OK, Duh?

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teddyrodo May 28, 2013 @ 1:53 a.m.

see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_So...

Legal tricks of the "believers" seek to best what the Catholic Church did to Galileo. BUT, before Galileo ... there was Giordano Bruno: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giordano...

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monaghan May 28, 2013 @ 2:33 a.m.

Eva Knott studiously ignored the true history of the Mt. Soledad "Veterans Memorial" which is topped by an unconstitutional Christian Cross, per the definition of the U.S. 9th District Court and reaffirmed by a decision of the U.S. Supreme Court last year. One would think she's have said something about the true facts.

There are no war dead at Mt. Soledad and its use for Memorial Day remembrance is a recent phenomenon based on expediency rather than long history. The place now is mostly about well-heeled conservatives in a Navy town protecting a Christian Cross under cover of honoring military sacrifice, and constitutionality be damned.

The Mt. Soledad "Veterans Memorial" is located in the middle of a public park on the highest point of land in the city. The Cross was erected in the 1950's during the McCarthy era and was sometimes used for Christian Easter sunrise services until 1989 when its existence was challenged by a lawsuit. The U.S. 9th District Court found the Cross to be an unconstitutional public expression of religion.

At that point, City land beneath the Cross was sold to the federal government in an example of evasive collusion between then-Mayor Jerry Sanders and City Council and then-Rep. Duncan Hunter, Sr.; the U.S. Navy became custodian of land and Cross; and the "Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial Association" became the Navy's agent.

Since then the "Veterans Memorial Association" has been busy improving the site, fencing the Cross, plastering walls around its base, selling plaques to affix to the walls (one needn't be dead or a soldier to get a plaque, by the way,) installing brick platforms and steps, putting in lights and installing a sound system.

These are the bits Eva Knott left out.

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Letter to the Editor June 9, 2013 @ 12:36 p.m.

The American flag atop Mount Suribachi is a war memorial. Eva, if you do not understand the difference between a religious structure (Christian cross) and four soldiers on the island of Iwo Jima attempting to place a flagpole flying the American flag into the ground atop Mount Suribachi, please ask.

Eva Knott said, "The awe-inspiring place has been used as a memorial park since 1914." Ms. Knott, where have you researched this information in your third paragraph?

The well-researched Wikipedia article "Mount Soledad Cross" makes no mention of "a memorial park since 1914." As a long time La Jollan, I have never heard about "a memorial park since 1914." If you have made an error in your article or received misinformation from an organization in the form of a press release, please inform your readers.

Eva Knott canknott be serious when the secondary title in her article reflects, "Timely ceremony at Mount Soledad veterans' memorial" The title "Mount Soledad veterans' memorial" does not exist in Wikipedia and is the figment of a group of individuals who are attempting to rewrite history.

Prior to 1989 the "Easter Cross" related to the dedication of this Christian erection in 1954 on Easter Sunday by the grandmother of William Kellogg. This awkward attempt by this self-ordained "Mount Soledad veterans' association" began in the years following the successful lawsuit by the late Phillip Paulsen in 1989. Beginning in 1989 to present, every court has declared this Christian cross to be unconstitutional on public land whether owned by the City of San Diego or the United States (Federal) Government. This is the separation of church and state.

A Christian cross no more represents the American war dead than a Star of David. No Buddhist, Hindu or Jew would have any desire to have a Christian cross on their grave. This Christian cross atop Mount Soledad is an insult to nearly everyone who served their country, including Catholics and Protestants.

I have a U.S. Navy retirement. No U.S. military cemetery has a Christian cross dominating its landscape, including: Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery (Point Loma), Punchbowl (island of Oahu, Hawaii), the Philippine Islands (Manila), and all U.S. military cemeteries in Europe.

I strongly recommend everyone go to Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery on Point Loma for exquisite views and to remember the American war dead. There are no war dead atop Mount Soledad, only plaques affixed to obfuscate an unconstitutional religious symbol.

The easiest and fairest route for everyone would be to remove the arms of the cross. By doing so, this edifice would become a stile. Then Christians could imagine the stile as a cross and non-Christians would envision the stile as war memorial.

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dwbat Dec. 22, 2013 @ 11:19 p.m.

Let's hope the latest court ruling will stand, and the cross will come down. It can be preserved, and moved to private (not public) property somewhere else in San Diego. Or in Oceanside, maybe? If San Diegans (including veterans) really love this country, they will applaud its removal. Why? Because not all veterans who died in war were Christians.

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