The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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November 10, 2012

Honoring heroes

Across U.S., Veterans Day commemorations under way

(Continued)

— * * *

In the Mojave Desert in California, veterans plan to resurrect a war memorial cross that was part of a 13-year legal battle over the separation of church and state.

The ceremony today on Sunrise Rock follows a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union that argued the cross was unconstitutional because it was in the Mojave National Preserve.

The Supreme Court intervened in 2010 and directed a court to consider a land swap, leading to a settlement that transferred Sunrise Rock to veterans groups in exchange for five acres of privately owned land.

Henry Sandoz, who cared for the original cross as part of a promise to a dying World War I veteran, will re-dedicate a new, 7-foot steel cross on the same hilltop.

* * *

Thousands of spectators are expected to line Fifth Avenue today for New York City’s Veterans Day Parade.

Former Mayor Ed Koch is the grand marshal for the parade, which will run for

30 blocks, starting at 26th Street.

Also marching will be the Navajo Code Talkers, who transmitted coded messages during WWII, and other veteran groups.

Some participants in the parade are collecting coat donations for Superstorm Sandy victims.

The theme is “United we Stand,” and the parade marks the 200th anniversary of The War of 1812.

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