Hundreds gather to defend Woonsocket memorial
WOONSOCKET, R.I. (AP) -- Hundreds of people have turned out to defend a Rhode Island war memorial topped with a cross that's being challenged by an atheist group.
Mayor Leo Fontaine said at Wednesday's gathering in Woonsocket he has a new resolve to fight to keep the memorial where it is.
Supporters defend the 1921 monument as a tribute to four soldiers killed in World Wars I and II. Many people brought flags and crosses and played patriotic music.
Portsmouth resident Angie Isadore says she came to stand up for what's right. Her husband and father are veterans.
The event was organized by the former head of the Rhode Island National Guard. Major Gen. Reginald Centracchio says the monument isn't forcing religion on anyone.
The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation says it violates constitutional separation of church and state.