Per the requests from residents of St. Bernard Parish, welder Vincent Labruzzo of Arabi is fabricating
a stainless-steel cross which will be 13 feet tall and 7 feet wide and will be lighted.
St. Bernard Parish President "Junior" Rodriguez and others like the idea of putting the monument along the banks of the MRGO, because that waterway is widely blamed in the parish for accelerating the deadly flooding that accompanied Katrina. Over the years erosion has widened the outlet, so the bank on which the cross will be erected is on privately owned land, Rodriguez said. He added that the parish is researching who owns the land on which the stone monument bearing the names of the victims will sit, but he thinks that it is also privately owned. Rodriguez said the memorial is being financed with donations, so it's legal.
Alarmed by newspaper reports that a hurricane memorial in St. Bernard Parish will feature a cross bearing a likeness of the face of Jesus, the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana is reminding parish officials of the Constitution's separation of church and state.
Never one to back down, Parish President Henry "Junior" Rodriguez has a simple reply: "They can kiss my ass."
The parish states that the memorial is being done outside government's auspices, but the ACLU seems unconvinced. Click here for the full story.