The cross at the Belle Plaine veterans memorial can come back

The cross had been taken down after pressure from an out-of-state nonprofit.

The cross that was removed from a Minnesota veterans memorial after pressure from an out-of-state nonprofit is on its way back to being on display.

Last month, Belle Plaine said the Latin cross – part of a silhouette grave marker, that also includes a soldier kneeling with a rifle – had to be taken down. That came after the Freedom From Religion Foundation (a nonprofit based in Wisconsin that focuses on the separation of church and state) said a citizen complained about the religious symbol being on public property, and pushed the city council to nix it.

The decision was met with frustration from the community, including a group calling itself Defend Veterans Park, which said the veterans "deserve better than to be pushed around by a few people who are offended by a soldier kneeling before a cross."

But in the weeks since, people have been working to find a solution that lets the cross go back up, and the city council took one up Monday night.

What was the proposal?

Explained by Defend Veterans Park, the proposal would create a "dedicated piece of land" the government sets aside for free speech by its citizens, specifically to honor veterans. (Here's text of the proposal.)

It would lay out guidelines for memorials that could go up, including size and materials. Works could be requested to go there only by groups with at least half their members living in Belle Plaine.

It would let the cross go back up at Veterans Memorial Park, as part of the free speech space.

The vote

That was apparently enough for the city council, which approved the plan by a 3-2 vote, the Defend Veterans Park group says.

"Large numbers and well crafted arguments make a difference. Great job everyone!" the group wrote in an update Tuesday.

It won't go back up immediately though.

Bell Plaine Vet's Club says the policy needs to be put in place first. That's slated to happen at the Feb. 21 city council meeting.

" BUT IT IS GOING BACK ON!" they wrote, "looking at the last weekend in February, we will post here as soon as we have a day and time so those that want to be there can! We thank you all for the overwhelming support! NOW LET'S SUPPORT OUR CITY!"

Next Up

ambulance, crash

Baby dies, 5 injured when SUV flips over fence onto I-94 in Brooklyn Center

Alcohol was detected on the driver, according to the State Patrol.

minneapolis police

Police say officers were shot at in north Minneapolis

Officers were checking into a suspicious activity report when gunfire erupted.


Walmart to mandate COVID vaccine for some managers, corporate employees

The company will also reinstate mask mandates for employees in high-transmission areas.

Minneapolis police

Driver plows into crowd after downtown Minneapolis brawl

Two suspects have reportedly been identified.

Jorge Alcala

Rare night for Twins' bullpen fuels victory over Cardinals

The Twins scored five runs in the third inning in an 8-1 victory.

Bisi Johnson

Report: Bisi Johnson tears ACL, will miss 2021 season

Johnson suffered the injury during Friday's practice.

Mike Zimmer

Frustrated Zimmer sounds off after Vikings' positive COVID test

"I’m frustrated, not just with my football players who didn’t get vaccinated, but I’m frustrated with everybody [who didn't]."

Kirk Cousins

Report: Kellen Mond has COVID, Cousins among players out of practice

The team is scheduled to practice on Saturday night.

USPS packages

Two Ramsey County men sentenced in mail theft scheme

Sonny Vang Xiong was sentenced to three years in prison, while Davis Her was sentenced to six and a half years in prison.

Jeff Gladney

Jeff Gladney's ex-girlfriend files $1 million civil lawsuit

The civil lawsuit accuses Gladney of assaulting the woman for over two hours.


Why there's no longer a cross at this MN city's veterans' memorial

An out-of-state group put pressure on city leaders to get rid of the cross.

Coming soon to Belle Plaine's Veterans Memorial Park ... a satanic monument

It's claimed to be the first public satanic monument in the world.

After vandals hit Ely's veterans memorial, a MN business steps in to help

5 trees that were cut and pulled down were part of a memorial to Ely veterans.

Belle Plaine will host Catholic and Satanist rallies on Saturday

Catholics are not happy about the possibility of the first ever Satanist monument on public land.

Belle Plaine will host Catholic and Satanist rallies on Saturday

Catholics are not happy about the possibility of the first ever Satanist monument on public land.

A look at veterans in Minnesota

There are 369,149 veterans living in Minnesota.

Satanic Temple sues Minnesota city

It stems from a dispute involving a veterans memorial and a statue proposed by the temple.