War memorial cross will return to Mojave Desert

April 25, 2012 at 11:37 AM
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CIMA, Calif., April 25 (UPI) -- The battle over a 7-foot-high war memorial cross that wound its way from California to the Supreme Court has ended with its restoration, officials said.

A settlement has been reached to return the cross to its perch atop Sunrise Rock in the Mohave Desert, The (Riverside Calif.) Press Enterprise reported.

Under terms of the settlement, the National Park Service will relinquish 1 acre of land encompassing Sunrise Rock to the local post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. In return, Henry and Wanda Sandoz will give 5 acres of land they own to the federal government.

The couple promised one of the veterans who erected the memorial 78 years ago that they would take care of it after his death.

Wanda Sandoz said news that the cross would be returning is thrilling.

"We're just anxious to get it back where it belongs, where those veterans put it," she said.

The National Park Service, which manages the Mojave National Preserve, said the site will be fenced in and a memorial erected explaining that the cross is on private land.

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