House passes bill to allow religious symbols on war memorials

The 2011 appeals court decision overturned a district court decision by ruling that the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial could not display the large cross atop the memorial.

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), who sponsored the legislation, said memorials across the country that display religious symbols could face further legal action without a change in the law.

“The Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial is still under attack, for its cross, and it’s a sure bet these attacks won’t stop with Mt. Soledad,” Hunter said in a statement after the bill passed. “In the face of legal challenges against Mt. Soledad and the likelihood of more to come, it’s important that Congress install the right protection for war memorials in federal law, allowing the spirit and tradition of honoring our nation’s military to continue.”

There are 48 faith emblems in the 131 national cemeteries supervised by the Department of Veterans Affairs, according to Hunter’s office.