- Associated Press - Friday, August 21, 2015

KNOXVILLE, Iowa (AP) - A national group that wants to maintain the U.S. Constitution’s separation of church and state wants a veterans memorial removed from an Iowa city park because a cross is part of the monument.

Ian Smith is an attorney for Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and he says the monument is an establishment of religion prohibited by the First Amendment, specifically because the cross is the “pre-eminent symbol of Christianity.”

The group has sent a letter to officials in Knoxville asking for the monument’s removal, and the Knoxville mayor says the city is checking its options.

The monument includes the silhouette of a soldier kneeling at a gravesite, which is marked by the cross. Mayor Brian Hatch says an AMVETS post placed the monument in the city park.

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