As reported recently in the news links at the top of this blog page, the federal
district court judge has laid down the law to the parties involved in this case, as
directed by the United States Supreme Court when it remanded the case back down to the district court, per U.S. Department of Justice spokesman Wyn Hornbuckle.
It was ironic that this action occurred on the very day that this latest replacement cross was taken down by the National Park Service, with yours truly looking on from far in the distance up on the slopes of Kessler Peak. At that distance I could barely make out the white truck parked near Sunrise Rock,
and the photos were taken at max zoom- I just felt in my gut that the cross was being taken down, and from the fact that my car was parked directly across the road from Sunrise Rock, and that the truck parked in a couple different locations sitting, before finally staying in one spot for about 5 minutes, almost as if they were worried that there was a witness hiding in the Joshua Trees nearby with a video camera.
It didn’t take a phi beta kappa to figure out that the cross wouldn’t be up long,
it was built with quality but was of different materials, it was sure to be removed,
at least that was my feeling.
When I got down, I had to drive down to Cima Road and I-15 to get a cell and a cell internet connection, just to pass the information on and to get other
information. I didn’t have access to Lexus-Nexus or whatever the media uses,
hence my frustration boiling over and the call for an “Occupy Sunrise Rock”
Now after sleeping on this news for a few nights and letting my subconscious
work on this situation, it is obvious that the Mojave Cross supporters have
prevailed, at least in the courts. From the news reports, the talks ordered by
the judge deal with the land swap for private land within the Mojave Preserve
now to be exchanged for the acre of land that Sunrise Rock sits upon. I believe
the Veterans for Foreign Wars will then own the land, after all they had the original one put up in the 1930’s, and since the land would be private, they could put the cross back up.
This is my wish. The original type cross should be put back up. My understanding is that Mr. Henry Sandoz, who built the one that was stolen last
year, has a replacement made and it is ready to go up, when the judge says it is okay. This is just the way it should be.
This news also means that there is no need to put up another replacement cross or to engage in any peaceful civil disobedience such as attempting to
put up another cross and then to try to prevent its’ being removed by the park
service, who are only doing what they are required to do as the judge has ruled. I understand people’s impatience as that particular trait is seemingly
hard wired into my own makeup sometimes. But this recent event with the court
is so electrifying, there appears to be no doubt that it is only a matter of time,
just months before the Mojave Desert Memorial Cross goes back up for good,
and for all time. Now, people of good will, should just wait and see.
The wait should only be for a few more months.
There have been calls to put up a giant cross and massive security, blah, blah.
None of that is necessary, nor is it appropriate to ensure the historical continuity. A simple Latin Cross, just like the original, sitting plainly atop its’ home, Sunrise Rock, will and should be good enough. Hopefully, the
VFW and others involved will not over- react to the original theft, and ruin the
natural beauty and setting of the area by putting up some garish fence and gate, with all the attendant security, such as big no trespassing signs, flood
lighting, and other such signs of the modern police state this country seems to be evolving into.
I don’t look for that happening, but the very thing I just wrote about is within
the realm of possibility based upon some of the news stories that I have seen this last year or so.
Long time readers may recall that I have said in the past that young people, veterans, or others could camp out near the rock for as long as it takes to insure the cross stays up, at least until the expected furor subsides. It is a
fact that some will probably take offense at the cross’s return; don’t forget that
with the full resources of the Department of Justice being brought to bear, they
still haven’t found the thief who took the original in May, 2010.
back up at Sunrise Rock. I will always believe that. But that’s as far as I am willing to go. As it is and always has been, the simple, white cross stood atop
the rocks, visible as people drove by. It was not intrusive upon the area. Eight
feet tall on a rocky outcropping, you almost have to get right upon before you see it as you drive by.
A simple, heartfelt memorial to our long gone but not forgotten war dead of
World War One, just as it was in 1934, is as right for this modern time, as it
was all those decades ago.
That is my opinion out on the backporch. One man’s opinion as valid as any other with no claim to be any more right than any other.
I welcome your thoughts and thank you for reading.