Almost two years ago, a mother in Lake Elsinore, Calif. received the most devastating news any parent could imagine. Her 19-year-old son was killed by a passing motorist while crossing the street.
Overcome by grief, AnnMarie Devaney ultimately established a memorial at the site of Anthony’s death. The location was marked by a cross that stood as a tribute to the young man until an outrageous demand by an atheist group on the opposite coast demanded it be removed.
The American Humanist Association issued a complaint that the display was somehow in violation of the separation of church and state – a policy found nowhere in the U.S. Constitution that has been used ad nauseam by godless leftists determined to strip any reference to God from public view.
While the group was initially successful in forcing Devaney to remove the cross, an outpouring of support from some in her community effectively bombarded the area with new displays of faith and encouragement.
At least six crosses replaced the one forced down by the American Humanist Association. One family from a nearby town was responsible for erecting a number of plywood displays. Emblazoned on the crosses were statements of solidarity including “What if this was your child?”
Doug Johnson and his daughter, Emily, explained that the attack against Devaney was so egregious that they felt the need to react.
“They said they have to take that [original cross] down,” he said, “but they didn’t say anything about putting another one up.”
Another local family used the disturbing development as an opportunity to teach their children a valuable lesson while designing a supportive display for the site.
“We did it like a homeschool project,” said Holly Alteneder, hoping to express the value of “tolerance” while encouraging them “not to be afraid of expressing what you believe.”
Though Devaney and her family were obviously distraught by Anthony’s death and the subsequent demands by the atheist group, they are appreciative of the love and encouragement shown by their neighbors.
“I feel like this is major closure for me and my family,” Devaney said, “and the public as well.”
A permanent memorial will be dedicated later this month at a Lake Elsinore park.
–B. Christopher Agee
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Photo Credit: Kvonnegut (Creative Commons)
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom