Legal opinion advises Boone Co. to remove Desert Storm Memorial

3 years 7 months 2 weeks ago Wednesday, July 29 2015 Jul 29, 2015 Wednesday, July 29, 2015 6:52:00 PM CDT July 29, 2015 in News
By: Andrea Gonzales, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - The Boone County Commission released a legal opinion Wednesday stating the Desert Storm Memorial that sits on government property should be altered or removed because of the "ichthus" symbol on it.

The "Operation Desert Storm Memorial" is on the the county courthouse grounds.

The legal opinion, by attorney Daniel Simon, stated "with the Memorial being kept in its current form, containing the ichtþs symbol [...] represents and constitutes, or can reasonably be construed by citizens who view the Memorial, as being a governmental endorsement of the Christian faith, as opposed to other religious faiths or as opposed to those who 'have no faith at all,' and that, therefore, the Memorial, in its current form, would be found by such court to violate the requirement of religious neutrality as imposed by federal courts."

The legal opinion advises "the Commission should either alter the Memorial to remove the Symbol or, at its expense, move the Memorial to a non-public land location."

Sr. Vice Commander of VFW Post 280, Don Briggs, said he would like it to stay where it is, despite the religious symbol.

"I fought for my country so that people that oppose this have the right to express their opinions," Briggs said. "But when they start trying to oppose their rights on me -- I don't think that's right."

A first reading and the chance for the public to comment will happen in the chambers of the Boone County Government Building on Thursday, Aug. 6 at 2:30 p.m. A second reading, another chance for public comment and a vote will happen on a later date. 

If the commissioners vote to move the memorial, it would be the second monument removed within just a few months. The "Confederate Rock" on the Boone County Courthouse lawn will move to a Centralia battlefield.

Boone County Commissioner Janet Thompson said when people come to seek justice at a courthouse, everyone should feel equal under the law.

"The issue, as outlined in Mr. Simon's opinion, is one of separation of church and state," Thompson said.

Thompson said the commissioners asked for the legal opinion of Simon because he is a well-respected attorney in the community with a "great legal mind."

Thompson said another monument would be erected to honor not only Desert Storm soldiers who lost their lives, but subsequent conflicts as well. 

The ichthus was covered last summer with a "Dedicated 1992" plaque in response to an inquiry about the symbol from Washington, D.C.-based Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. Commissioners decided to cover the ichthus to avoid possible litigation over church-state separation issues.

The monument is in honor of those who served and for two men who gave their lives, Patrick Connor an Steven Farnen. It reads: "To the men who gave their lives, and the men and women who offered but, were spared."

More News

Grid
List
PETTIS CO. - Deputies recovered a truck Sunday believe to be stolen from Oklahoma by jail escapee Travis Davis. ... More >>
42 minutes ago Monday, March 18 2019 Mar 18, 2019 Monday, March 18, 2019 12:28:00 PM CDT March 18, 2019 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - Carl DeBrodie's family continues to call for justice two years after their loved one's death. On... More >>
1 hour ago Monday, March 18 2019 Mar 18, 2019 Monday, March 18, 2019 11:51:00 AM CDT March 18, 2019 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis police are investigating several shooting scenes after an unusually violent day, even for... More >>
2 hours ago Monday, March 18 2019 Mar 18, 2019 Monday, March 18, 2019 10:40:00 AM CDT March 18, 2019 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Hundreds of homes have flooded in several Midwestern states after rivers breached at least... More >>
3 hours ago Monday, March 18 2019 Mar 18, 2019 Monday, March 18, 2019 9:13:00 AM CDT March 18, 2019 in News
CENTRALIA - The Lady Panthers Softball Team slid into success at the end of the season with some off-field accolades.... More >>
4 hours ago Monday, March 18 2019 Mar 18, 2019 Monday, March 18, 2019 8:45:00 AM CDT March 18, 2019 in Sports
JEFFERSON CITY – The Missouri state capitol is going to be a lot quieter this week with lawmakers' spring break... More >>
6 hours ago Monday, March 18 2019 Mar 18, 2019 Monday, March 18, 2019 6:24:00 AM CDT March 18, 2019 in Top Stories
BOONE COUNTY - Boone County will soon turn 200 years old, and county commissioners are working on a way to... More >>
7 hours ago Monday, March 18 2019 Mar 18, 2019 Monday, March 18, 2019 5:16:00 AM CDT March 18, 2019 in News
MARIES COUNTY - A 13-year-old girl died in a house fire Sunday in Maries County, according to a Facebook post... More >>
16 hours ago Sunday, March 17 2019 Mar 17, 2019 Sunday, March 17, 2019 9:10:00 PM CDT March 17, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Improvement District is offering a grant incentive to downtown restaurants that would eliminate messy grease bins... More >>
19 hours ago Sunday, March 17 2019 Mar 17, 2019 Sunday, March 17, 2019 5:42:00 PM CDT March 17, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Yoga Gives-CoMo held its monthly charity yoga event Sunday afternoon in collaboration with Logboat Brewing Co. This... More >>
21 hours ago Sunday, March 17 2019 Mar 17, 2019 Sunday, March 17, 2019 4:03:00 PM CDT March 17, 2019 in News
AUDRAIN COUNTY - A family is forced to move on after a fire destroyed their home of 32 years Saturday... More >>
21 hours ago Sunday, March 17 2019 Mar 17, 2019 Sunday, March 17, 2019 3:26:00 PM CDT March 17, 2019 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Police in Kansas City, Missouri, are investigating a stabbing death at a hotel. The Kansas... More >>
23 hours ago Sunday, March 17 2019 Mar 17, 2019 Sunday, March 17, 2019 1:59:00 PM CDT March 17, 2019 in News
ST. JOSEPH (AP) - As rivers and creeks in flooded eastern Nebraska and western Iowa crest Saturday, officials have begun... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, March 17 2019 Mar 17, 2019 Sunday, March 17, 2019 11:17:00 AM CDT March 17, 2019 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Three men have been sentenced this week for the kidnapping and torture of a... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, March 17 2019 Mar 17, 2019 Sunday, March 17, 2019 9:03:00 AM CDT March 17, 2019 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A Washington University student is suing after he was kicked out of the private St.... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, March 17 2019 Mar 17, 2019 Sunday, March 17, 2019 8:56:00 AM CDT March 17, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Police Department increased its presence in Columbia and surrounding areas for St. Patrick’s Day weekend. CPD... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, March 17 2019 Mar 17, 2019 Sunday, March 17, 2019 8:35:00 AM CDT March 17, 2019 in News
AUDRAIN COUNTY - A home near Centralia was destroyed by fire late Saturday night. The Boone County Fire Protection... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, March 16 2019 Mar 16, 2019 Saturday, March 16, 2019 11:44:00 PM CDT March 16, 2019 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri lawmaker who's introduced measures that would force adults to own handguns and young... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, March 16 2019 Mar 16, 2019 Saturday, March 16, 2019 8:29:00 PM CDT March 16, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 49°
2pm 50°
3pm 52°
4pm 53°
5pm 51°