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City's Memorial Park Cross Is Saved from Removal

12-07-2016
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A cross in a memorial park in Minneapolis will remain, despite a complaint by Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

The city of Long Prairie almost took the cross memorial down, according to a recent report from the TV station KARE 11

The cross is placed in the city-owned Veterans Memorial Park, where a statue of the original flag raising on Iwo Jima also resides. 

The town's 75-year-old Navy veteran and mayor, Don Rasmussen says Long Prairie respects its veterans "very much." 

The park also features a "Huey" helicopter, a Vietnam wall, and a "Tomb of the Unknown Soldier," he  said. 

Rasmussen received the complaint in a letter from Americans United for Separation of Church and State, which stated, "We have received a complaint about a religious display in Veterans Memorial Park."

The city decided to give the land that houses the park to the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, making it private land and allowing them keep the cross. 

"Tears of joy. We were just glad it was ours, it could stay. We could do what we wanted with it. It means everything to us," said Vonnie Heckt, Long Prairie's American Legion commander. 

The private park will still welcome those who wish to honor veterans. 
 

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