Dept. of Defense sells Mt. Soledad memorial to private group

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SAN DIEGO - The Mount Soledad Memorial Association has purchased the half-acre property that holds the Mount Soledad Veterans Memorial for $1.4 million from the U.S. Department of Defense.

The DOD sold the parcel atop Mt. Soledad in La Jolla to the Mt. Soledad Memorial Association, the nonprofit entity that has overseen the maintenance and administration of the memorial from its inception in 1954, it was announced Monday.  The cash transaction was completed on Friday.

It follows the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2015, signed into law by Congress and signed by President Obama in December 2014, calling for the sale of the property by the federal government to the Association.

“I am honored to be leading our Association at this most significant time in our Memorial’s history,” said Bruce Bailey, President and CEO of the Mt. Soledad Memorial Association board of trustees.  “It marks the first time where our membership can manage the Memorial's affairs from a place of ownership and accountability for the property, which is a new and welcomed step for the Association."

Because the cross sat on public land, opponents argued it was a government endorsement of a particular religion. Supporters said the cross was part of a war memorial.

“Those people who think that the cross doesn’t belong up there, they have the right to think that. I approach it differently because I don’t think the cross being up there is

necessarily a Christian symbol," Bailey added.

The memorial contains a cross that has been the source of controversy for decades.  More than 3,700 individual plaques of veterans, both living and deceased, are mounted on the memorial walls, honoring veterans who have served from the time of the Revolutionary War to the current conflicts in the Middle East.

4 comments

  • Paul Andregg

    Walter Morris keeps telling people the lawsuit is over.
    Hey Walter…the lawsuit HAS NOT yet been dismissed by the 9th circuit. The lawsuit is still pending.

  • Ben in SOCAL

    Great. Now I hope these rabid anti-American activists can cease their attacks on this noble memorial.

    • Chad

      What’s anti-American about not wanting a christian symbol representing men that were not christian? You know there were jews, muslims, and atheists fighting as well.

  • Ron

    Donald trump bought it and plans on holding KKK rallies up there.

    Trailer trash republicans can rejoice!!! Then have sex with their little sisters, like josh duggar.

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