Battle lines drawn: Woonsocket ready to defend war memorial in court
Posted: 8/6/2012 11:32:38 AM
Updated: 8/6/2012 12:30:01 PM
The city of Woonsocket is prepared to go to battle to defend a war memorial that has been challenged by an atheist group.
Mayor Leo Fontaine of Woonsocket says he is prepared to do whatever it takes, including going to court, to protect a World War I, World War II memorial that has been recently challenged by the Freedom From Religion Foundation in Wisconsin. The national atheist group has now sent the city of Woonsocket two letters requesting the monument be removed from city land. The structure currently sits in the parking lot of a fire station on Cumberland Hill Road.
On Friday, Fontaine said the city will not relinquish the memorial to a private group but instead do whatever it takes to defend it.
Former Adjutant General of the Rhode Island National Guard, General Reginald Centracchio agrees with the mayors efforts. I think this is probably as I see it a turning point in our whole nation. This is the opportunity where we need to speak as a people and especially our veterans need to get the point across that this memorial is not going anywhere, Centracchio told the WPRO Morning News with Tara Granahan and Andrew Gobeil.
Centracchio organized a rally at the beginning of May in which over a thousand turned out to show support for the monument. All we are saying is that this monument is erected in the memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice, they happened to be Christians. That is what they wanted on their monument, thats what the family wants. We have to protect that, said Centracchio.
The city has a volunteer attorney Joseph Larisa and has raised money toward a legal defense fund to help pay for a potential legal battle.Dee DeQuattro | WPRO News
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