WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A 40-foot-tall (12 meters) cross-shaped war memorial standing on public land in Maryland does not constitute government endorsement of religion, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday in a decision that leaves unanswered questions about the boundaries of the U.S. Constitution's separation of church and state.
The justices were divided on many of the legal issues but the vote was 7-2 to overturn a lower court ruling that had declared the so-called Peace Cross in Bladensburg unconstitutional in a legal challenge mounted by the American Humanist Association, a group that advocates for secular governance. The concrete cross was erected in 1925 as a memorial to troops killed in World War One.
The ruling made it clear that a long-standing monument in the shape of a Christian cross on public land was permissible but the justices were divided over whether other types of religious displays and symbols on government property would be allowed. Those issues are likely to come before the court in future cases.
This Memorial Day weekend, visitors to the National Mall in Washington, D.C. were able to view the Poppy Wall of Honor for the second year.
The temporary, 133 foot long display of over 645,000 poppy flowers — one for every American service member killed since World War I — was visited by more than 15,000 people in 2018, the United Services Automobile Association, who sponsors the exhibit, said in a press release.
Gun crew from Regimental Headquarters Company, 23rd Infantry, firing 37mm gun during an advance against German/Wikimedia Commons
The filmmakers who gave the world Saving Private Ryan, and Jarhead are shipping out to recreate World War I in the upcoming drama 1917.
The film will be produced by Steven Spielberg (Jaws, Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park, Saving Private Ryan) and directed by Sam Mendes (Jarhead, Skyfall, Spectre, Road to Perdition) — and the two are going to work on it as soon as next month.
A new World War I documentary by Academy Award-winning director Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings) offers a fresh look at how warfare may change, but the mundanities of military life and the brutal realities of ground combat remain the same.
Titled They Shall Not Grow Old, the project was four years in the making, and paints a vivid picture of the Great War by putting a premium on emotional authenticity as it follows British soldiers assigned to the Western Front between 1914 and 1918.
If there were ever a good time to be British it would have been on Nov. 11, the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, when BBC Two premiered Peter Jackson's highly anticipated World War I documentary They Shall Not Grow Old.