Pro-cross supporters rally at Mount Soledad

A large crowd turned out at Mount Soledad for a pro-cross rally on Saturday. Photo: Dave Schwab

Signs let everyone know what people were thinking. Photo: Dave Schwab

Clear skies along the coast gave those at the rally spectacular views. Photo: Dave Schwab

Speakers called for supporters to defend the cross at the Mount Soledad Veterans Memorial. Photo: Dave Schwab

By Dave Schwab
Staff Writer

About 300 people turned out at a pro-cross rally atop Mount Soledad Memorial this morning filled with revivalist overtones.

Bearing flags and banners, the majority of those in the assemblage were in La Jolla protesting the Ninth Circuit Court’s recent decision declaring the Soledad Cross to be unconstitutional on federally owned land because it is a religious symbol violating the establishment clause of the U.S. Constitution. Some carried signs saying, “Defend the wall … keep religion out of government.”

“When I was a kid this was a wooden cross and all of this (memorial) wasn’t here,” said Sam Spidal of Carlsbad, a military contractor.”The core of this thing that’s frustrated so many people is 20 years ago a guy filed a lawsuit to remove a cross that had already been here for decades and decades because it offended him. I get offended every day. This is as much about the establishment clause as it is about freedom of speech. People are getting fed up with one judge overturning the will of the people. The history of San Diego is really tied to Mount Solead and I hope it (cross) stays.”

“I’m a veteran and I’m sick and tired of people using this, which is a monument to veterans, for their political and religous agendas,” said “New York” Myke Shelby, owner of San Diego Harley Davidson motorcycles and an unsuccessful mayoral candidate who ran because of the Soledad cross issue. “Leave it alone. Let this issue rest, just like those who have died for us are now resting.”

Dennis Agajanian, a Christian present at the rally to play his guitar and sing, said, “A lot of people say this is a Christian thing, but Mike (Shelby) is Jewish. He looks at the freedoms we should have in this country, and the military should have to keep that cross up there. It’s a time of confrontation, not negotiation. It’s time that we started standing up for the truth, and for our freedom.”

“The fact is we were founded on distinct, Judeo-Christian, Biblical values,” said Pastor Jim Garlow during formal speaking presentations at the event.”That means that the cross is not some violation of the establishment clause. It is not establishment to recognize the uniqueness of our particular heritage, our particular history.”

Charles LiMandri of the Thomas More Law Center noted the Soledad Cross, built in 1954, is a “familiar and treasured landmark, adding that the Ninth Circuit’s recent decision flaunts the will of the people.

“We got Proposition A on the ballot and 76 percent of you showed up to vote to keep this cross intact, keep the memorial as it is, where it is,” he said. “There have been setbacks along the way before we got that 76 percent vote. We believe the (federal) Justice Department can and will petition the U.S. Supreme Court to take the (Soledad) case. But we want to leave nothing to chance. So we’re asking you to please fill out a card to send to the White House and to urge the president to request that the Attorney General petition the U.S. Supreme Court to take the case.”

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Posted by Dave Schwab on Jan 15, 2011. Filed under Featured Story, La Jolla, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

7 Comments for “Pro-cross supporters rally at Mount Soledad”

  1. gotacare

    The need of many outweigh the needs of a few or the one, yet we allow the few or one to dictate the direction of our lives. When did we get so stupid or is it the complacency has settled America?

  2. LarryLinn

    Perhaps it would be more beneficial to all if we seek resolution to the conflict over the cross, and maintain the honor to the Veterans. Rather than have this issue continue as legal issues in the courts. Perhaps Representatives Bilbray, Hunter, and Issa, would formulate and promote a bill to sell the land and the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial Cross to a non-profit entity such as the Mt. Soledad Association. Rather than raising money to fund the legal actions, the funding can go to purchase the site. I know that this was attempted before, but it is the best solution. Without resolution, this religious and political conflict will continue, which is not honoring the troops whom worked together to protect our freedom of religion.
    Note that the plaintiffs were the Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America. I am a Viet Nam veteran.

  3. daddiosjg

    A 43 foot religious symbol like the Easter cross does not belong on public land supported by taxpayers. These congressmen have known that for 20 years, yet keep wasting millions on appeals and obviously unconstitutional bills.

  4. Carmen

    Hello, I was there, it was more like 5000 people there. Um, the cross has been there for almost 100 years. To try and tear it down is ridiculous. It is a symbol of peace and sacrifice, and has been around longer than even Jesus. Those who consider it offensive need to get off their soap box, grow up and let it go. There is nothing, absolutely NOTHING offensive about that cross. Lastly, THERE IS N0 SUCH THING AS SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE IN THE CONSTITUTION. Get over it already!

  5. Leebert

    Sorry to inform you but this is a federal reserved plot of land. The people want it as it is. And by the way, a plot including the cross is to honor military vets and the fallen during the Korean War. Tell the ACLU that the wall premise was in a letter between Jefferson and a friend, Its never been in the founding documents, The vast majority of the founders were Christians of various denominations. Not deists. Don't let the revisionist fool you.

  6. There's another rally today, Thursday Feb 9 from 11am to 11:30am at Soledad Natural Park. This memorial is just one of hundreds at risk of being torn down. For info on this cause, there's a 'Don't Tear Me Down' website at, and facebook page at There's even a catchy song on iTunes, with proceeds supporting the cause here:

  7. There's another rally today, Thursday Feb 9 from 11am to 11:30am at Soledad Natural Park. This memorial is just one of hundreds at risk of being torn down. For info on this cause, there's a 'Don't Tear Me Down' website at, and facebook page at There's even a catchy song on iTunes, with proceeds supporting the cause here:

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