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Group wants Supreme Court to save war memorial

By Julie Watson

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, Feb. 9 2012 1:35 a.m. MST

FILE - In this Jan. 4, 2011 file photo, Rev. John Fredericksen of Orlando, Fla., alongside Burdette Streeter, of San Diego, takes a picture in front of the war memorial cross on Mount Soledad in San Diego. Supporters of the war memorial, which is on public land in San Diego, are planning to ask the Supreme Court to reverse a federal court's decision deeming the cross is unconstitutional.

Gregory Bull, File, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

SAN DIEGO — Military veterans and others are planning to rally at a war memorial cross on public land in San Diego deemed unconstitutional by a federal court to push the Supreme Court to take up the case.

A nonprofit legal firm is organizing Thursday's demonstration atop Mt. Soledad in the San Diego suburb of La Jolla. It is scheduled to coincide with a petition filing that asks the Supreme Court to reverse last year's ruling by the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

The demonstrators call it a watershed case in the fight over the use of religious symbols to honor fallen troops.

The legal fight began in 1989 when atheist and Vietnam War veteran Philip Paulson sued San Diego, saying the cross that is now on federal land excludes non-Christian veterans.

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