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First Liberty Briefing

First Liberty Briefing is an exclusive podcast hosted by First Liberty Institute’s Deputy General Counsel Jeremy Dys. In about 90-seconds, once a week, Jeremy recalls the stories that have shaped America’s religious liberty, from the founding era to current legal battles and more. It’s an insider’s look at the stories, cases, people, and laws that have made America the world’s leader in protecting religious liberty.
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Jun 25, 2018

The Bladensburg WWI Veterans Memorial was erected to honor 49 veterans who gave their lives for their nation—but one group is suing to tear it down. Find out why: FirstLiberty.org/Briefing.


In 1925, the Bladensburg World War I Veterans Memorial was erected to honor the 49 men of Prince George’s County, Maryland, who gave their lives in WWI.  It stands outside of Washington, D.C., in the median near the National Defense Highway. This memorial—one of the oldest memorials on U.S. soil to honor the fallen of World War I—has stood without complaint for nearly a century.

For the first time in over nine decades, the American Humanist Association voiced a complaint.  They filed a federal lawsuit seeking to topple the memorial because those who erected it chose the shape of a cross to honor the fallen. 

One of the mothers who supported the memorial early on noted to her senator that her son died and was buried in Europe.  Though she could not visit his grave there, she said, she considered the Bladensburg World War I memorial to be her son’s grave marker close to home. 

First Liberty Institute, along with our volunteer attorneys at the law firm of Jones Day, represents the American Legion who erected the memorial in 1925.  This memorial was erected to honor heroes who gave their lives in defense of freedom. To tear this memorial down now would not only desecrate their memory, it would demonstrate a level of hostility to religion that our Founding Fathers warned against.

To learn how First Liberty is protecting religious liberty for all Americans, visit FirstLiberty.org.

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