After a phone call complaint was received by City Manager of Hiram, Georgia, Barry Atkinson, the 79 crosses that were erected to represent the 79 residents that died in American wars were taken down on Friday.
The crosses were were originally approved and planned by Mayor Theresa Philyaw.
The person that filed the complaint asked if the men that died were Christian. Atkinson told a news reporter, “They obviously weren’t,” “It opened our eyes that we missed something here and we immediately took corrective action.”
“It was never about religion — it was just to honor them,” Ms. Philyaw said. “I was devastated when it had to come down. At the time, it never, ever crossed my mind about the religious factor in it,” she said. “The cross is a ‘rest in peace’ symbol to me.”
The caller asked the city to build a new one and they would donate money towards the new veterans memorial.
On Tuesday, residents of the town showed up to the city council meeting on Tuesday to oppose the already removed crosses. One of the residents brought a photo of his son, who died in Iraq to the meeting. Understandably, he was upset when his son’s cross was taken down. Following the residents lead, the council voted to put the crosses back up.