There have been several reports of sculptures featuring a soldier kneeling before a cross being placed on public property in various parts of the U.S. The City of King, North Carolina, removed its sculpture in January rather than fight a lawsuit, Fox News reported at the time (video below). Lake Elsinore, California, lost in court in 2014 over its sculpture, noted Religious News Service.
Officials in Knoxville, Iowa, recently received a letter from Americans United for Separation of Church State calling for the removal of their soldier-cross display from a public park.
City Manager Harold Stewart claims that an unidentified resident filed a complaint with the city a few weeks ago about the sculpture and claimed it violated the Establishment Clause.
Stewrat told the Knoxville Journal Express News in an email:
I informed the individual that while it is a cross that is commonly used as a religious symbol, in this instance it represents the grave of a fallen soldier (of which there are literally thousands on Federal property in Arlington cemetery) and therefore would not be removed at my directive. The individual then informed me that a complaint would be filed with a national organization that fights these types of issues.
The Knoxville City Council plans to put the issue on its agenda for their next meeting.