BELLE PLAINE, MINN – The cross at the Belle Plaine Veterans’ Memorial park will be re-installed. Belle Plaine City Council members and the Defend Veterans’ Park organization came to an agreement allowing the cross to be returned.
As Alpha News reported, a complaint was made about a metal sculpture in Belle Plaine’s Veterans’ Park last month. The memorial of a soldier kneeling at a cross grave marker came under attack by the Freedom From Religion Foundation. The city council opted to remove the cross from the sculpture, causing mass uproar by the city residents.
On Feb. 6, 2017, residents and veterans gathered at the city council to offer a proposal for a Limited Public Forum for the park, which would allow residents to place memorials at the veterans park. The council passed the proposal on a 3-2 vote, but afterward, changed the language of the proposal in ways that were unacceptable to the Defend Veterans Park group.
Defend Veterans Park, with the assistance of Alliance Defending Freedom attorney, Doug Wardlow, worked with the city council to come to an agreement on the limited public forum. On Feb. 21, 2017, the proposal passed.
The entire Fallen Soldier memorial has been removed from the park so the cross can be reattached before it will be reinstalled in the park.