Attorney Rees Lloyd
August 25, 2012
Defense of Veterans Memorials Project of the American Legion Dept. of
The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors by Resolution has honored Henry and Wanda Sandoz, Congressman Jerry Lewis (R-CA, 41st District), the American Legion, VFW, and others "for their efforts to preserve and protect the Mojave Cross and the memory of veterans it honors" at the Mojave Desert WWI Veterans Memorial. The Resolution was presented to Henry and Wanda Soliz at Board ceremonies on August 21, 2012.
Representing the California American Legion were: Frank H. Granado, Area 5 Commander; Steve Thomas, Area 5 1st VC; Josie Thomas, District 25 Commander; Phil Heller, Past Area 5 Commander; and Robert D. Castillo, Past Commander of Riverside Post 79 and District 21, which initiated the California Defense of Veterans Memorials Project to fight the ACLU to save the Mojave Cross with the help of the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).
Joining in the Board ceremonies were Chairman Mitzelfelt (1st District), who initiated the unanimous Resolution; Vice Chair Janice Rutherford (2d); Neil Derry (3rd); Gary C. Ovitt (4th); Josie Gonzales, (5th), and Laura H. Welch, Board Clerk.
The Mojave Cross was erected in 1934 by VFW Post 2884 to honor WWI veterans. It was ordered destroyed by the Riverside U.S. District Court in 2002 in an Establishment of Religion Clause legal attack by the ACLU.
On his deathbed in 1934,VFW member Riley Bembry asked Henry and Wanda Sandoz to promise to continue caring for the Cross. The Resolution lauds the Sandoz' for faithfully fulfilling their promise, and for ultimately saving the Cross by donating five acres of their land in exchange for one acre of federal land at the Memorial site.
Rep. Jerry Lewis is cited for creating Congressional legislation authorizing the landswap which saved the Memorial Cross. The U.S. Supreme Court in 2010 upheld the Lewis legislation as constitutional. On April 21, 2012, after ten years of litigation, the ACLU surrendered, agreeing to end its legal attacks to destroy the Mojave Cross.
The Resolution concludes, in part, that the Board "does hereby commend and congratulate Henry and Wanda Sandoz for their enduring commitment…tto preserve and protect the Mojave Cross and the memory of veterans it honors.
"Further, the members of the Board also thank, commend, and congratulate the organizations and individuals who campaigned tirelessly to preserve the Mojave Cross, including but not limited to, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, and Congressman Jerry Lewis."
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A full copy of the Resolution is attached as a file (above), as is a photo of the ceremony. Pictured are (from left to right: California Legionnaires Steve Thomas, Robert D. Castillo, Phil Heller, Frank Granado, and Josie. The Sandoz daughter stands next to Wanda Sandoz as she and Henry accept the Resolution honoring them. County Supervisors shown are Brad Mitzelfelt, next to Henry Sandoz; Josie Gonzales, Neil Derry, Janice Rutherford, and Gary Ovitt.
We thank and salute Henry and Wanda Sandoz, all all who helped save the Cross from the ACLU, and we thank the San Bernardino Board of Supervisors for recognizing and honoring them.
FOR GOD AND COUNTRY FOREVER; SURRENDER TO THE ACLU—NEVER!
© 2012 Rees Lloyd - All Rights Reserved
REES LLOYD is a longtime civil rights attorney and veterans activist whose work has been honored by, among others, the California Senate and Assembly, and numerous civil rights, workers rights, and veterans rights organizations. He has testified as a constitutional expert at hearings before the U.S. House and Senate representing The American Legion.
He has been profiled, and his work featured, by such varied print media as the Los Angeles Times and American Legion Magazine, and such broadcast media as ABC's Nightline and 20/20, Fox News In The Morning, and, among others, by Hannity. His writings have appeared in a variety of national, regional, and local newspaper, magazine, and other publications. He is a frequent radio commentator, and a sought after speaker.*
[*For identification only. The views expressed here are solely Rees Lloyd's and not necessarily any person, entity or organization he may otherwise represent. ]