On the website for the City of King — a small municipality of some 6,000 residents in North Carolina — you find this statement:
“One of our proudest attractions is the Veteran’s Memorial that opened in 2004.
Our theme for the Veteran’s Memorial is — “All gave some…and some gave all.”
But now, that cherished war memorial in a public park in King is without an iconic metal sculpture depicting a soldier kneeling before a cross that marks the gravestone of a fallen warrior.
After facing a potentially devastating lawsuit, a sharply divided city council voted to remove the sculpture and thus end a legal threat that could have bankrupted the city about 15 miles north of Winston-Salem.
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Fox News reports that the costly deal to end the lawsuit brought by an Afghanistan war vet included removing other religious symbols as well:
As part of the agreement, the King City Council also said it would stop flying the Christian flag over the memorial and would pay $500,000 to Americans United for Separation of Church and State for the legal costs the group incurred bringing the lawsuit on behalf of local Afghanistan War veteran Steven Hewett.
According to a post on myfox8.com, Hewett sued the city, claiming that his constitutional rights were being violated by the kneeling soldier display with the small metal cross, as well as the flying of Christian flags in the park.
The memorial is on city-owned land but was paid for through donations collected by citizens of King.
In July, a judge sided with Hewett saying the lawsuit should move forward.
So, the King City Council voted 3-2 to remove the sculpture, which had been paid for with private donations, not public funds.
Just a few days ago, Western Journalism reported on a similar concession by city officials in Grand Haven, Michigan, agreeing to remove a cross from city property after the threat of a lawsuit from an atheist group.
By clicking on the video above, you can watch a report from the local Fox affiliate in North Carolina detailing the King City controversy and the highly unpopular decision to give in to the legal threat.
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h/t: Fox 8
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