BLADENSBURG, Md. - Gov. Larry Hogan has vowed to fight a federal court’s ruling that the Bladensburg Peace Cross is unconstitutional.
The cross, which was first constructed in 1925, is a memorial to honor World War I veterans. Standing at 40 feet tall, it towers over a park at the intersection of Baltimore Avenue and Annapolis Road.
A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit of Appeals in Richmond ruled on Oct. 18 that the 92-year-old monument amounts to government sponsorship of a particular religion. The court overturned a 2016 ruling that said it was meant mostly as a secular commemoration of World War I.
Hogan said he has instructed Maryland’s attorney general to fight the decision and the court battle could go to the Supreme Court.
“Our administration will fight this unacceptable overreach. Enough is enough,” Hogan wrote on his Facebook page. “I’m a native Prince Georgian and have passed by this memorial thousands of times. I view it as an incredible tribute to those who came before us and made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.”
The appeals court wrote in its decision, it "excessively entangles the government in religion because the cross is the core symbol of Christianity."
The American Humanist Association, which raised the legal issue, responded to Hogan's comments, stating, “The concern of plaintiffs is that our monuments should respect all of the men and women who gave their lives to protect our freedoms and our Constitution, not just Christian ones."
Hogan said he feels the ruling was out of bounds.
“It's just doesn't make any sense to me whatsoever, it's been there a hundred years now,” Hogan told FOX 5.
“Why some judge decided we have to tear it down, we're not going to let that happen. We’re going to take legal action, and it’s going in stay where it has been -- I don't care what it takes.”