UPDATE: Cross removed from Knoxville vet hospital after Atheist’s complaint

Knoxville Freedom Rock CrossBy The Iowa Statesman


Update 2: KNIA/KRLS misreported this afternoon that the cross at the Freedom Rock Memorial in Knoxville has been removed by the Veteran’s Affairs Office in Des Moines. Rather, a similar memorial was removed from the VA facility in Knoxville. The cross and kneeling soldier at Young’s Park remains in place.


Previous Article: According to the Knoxville Journal Express, the City of Knoxville has received a letter from Americans United for Separation of Church and State requesting that a cross be removed from the community’s Freedom Rock display in Young’s Park.

In the report, city manager Harold Stewart said the complaint was received several weeks ago from a citizen who was offended by the depiction of a soldier kneeling over the grave of a fallen comrade, which included a cross grave marker. The complaint invokes the “establishment clause” of the First Amendment, implying the placement of the cross is state establishment of religion.

Stewart reportedly refused to order the cross be removed. He informed the Knoxville City Council of the situation at its regular meeting Monday evening. Citizens in Knoxville aren’t taking the situation lightly, and have planned a demonstration in support of the Freedom Rock depiction for noon to 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 30.