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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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Mar 25, 2019

The Bladensburg WWI veterans memorial is a symbol of honor and sacrifice of the 49 men from Prince George’s County, Maryland who fought and died in service to their county during WWI. First Liberty is fighting to defend the veterans memorial from destruction. Learn more at FirstLiberty.org/Briefing.


They came from many walks of life.  Several were simple laborers.  One was a well-known surgeon.  Another, a legend and past recipient of the Medal of Honor whose heroism in World War I earned him the Distinguished Service Cross. But, they all came from Prince George’s County, Maryland.

Educated or not, white or black, rich or poor, their bodies were interred under small grave makers in cemeteries far too distant for their families to ever visit.

In 1925, a local post of The American Legion erected the Bladensburg World War I Veterans Memorial to honor 49 men from the county who gave their lives serving in the U.S. Armed Forces during World War I.

The Fourth Circuit determined the cross-shaped memorial is unconstitutional. First Liberty Institute, and our network attorneys at the international law firm Jones Day, appealed that decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.  By June, we should have a decision.

I think the Gold Star mothers who designed the Bladensburg memorial in 1919 would be pleased. They chose the shape of the memorial to recall the crosses marking the countless American graves on the Western Front of that war.

Surely the Constitution permits Gold Star Mothers to erect a simple memorial that mirrors those that marked the graves of their sons buried on the battlefields of Europe.

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

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