In January, one unidentified person made a phone call asking authorities to remove a cross that has stood for 51 years in honor of a fallen Vietnam War soldier at the San Diego County airport in Ocotillo Wells.
Alex Bell, program manager for San Diego County’s Land Use and Environmental Group, told the Los Angeles Times that the person called to complain that the cross was located on county property. The Times notes that the county reportedly confirmed the cross is on its property, 84 feet from the unmarked property line, and Bell said that it was “an establishment of religion and in violation of federal and state constitutions in violation of federal and state constitutions,” and that they are taking steps to address the issue.
However, in May Sherri Kukla, who publishes S&S Off Road Magazine, started an online petition to prevent the monument’s removal. For her, the cross is not religious, but rather “a historical memorial monument” used as a point of reference for off-roaders. It has also comforted people who have lost loved ones for a variety of reasons, she told the Times..