Paulding County

Memorial Day crosses removed after complaints

PAULDING COUNTY, Ga. — A large Memorial Day display in one metro town was abruptly taken down because of the display's religious overtones.

The disappearance of the crosses on a corner in Hiram angered some residents, wondering who would complain about it.

Many thought the crosses on Highway 92 were an appropriate Memorial Day display, but a short time after the crosses went up outside a city of Hiram building, they came down.
"It opened our eyes that we missed something here, and we immediately took corrective action," City Manager Barry Atkinson said.




The handmade crosses were meant to represent the 79 Paulding Countians who died in America's wars.

The city's mayor and others were behind the plan, which attracted praise and simultaneous criticism -- Atkinson said some who called his office simply asked if crosses were the appropriate symbol.

"They asked were all those fallen soldiers Christian, and the answer to that was not, they obviously weren't," Atkinson said.

The abrupt disappearance of the display prompted some social media outrage, and many volunteered to put up the crosses on private property.

Others told Channel 2’s Ross Cavitt this is political correctness run amok.

"People who are non-Christian shouldn't be offended by that because they gave their lives for our country, and that's the way I look at it.”

"Whether it's a cross or any other kind of marking its in honor of Memorial Day."

The city manager told Cavitt he understands the concerns by some who called and insisted no one was really vitriolic about it; in fact, some said the city needs a permanent memorial.

"If Hiram was willing to do a permanent veterans memorial, they offered to make a cash contribution, so I wouldn't say they were really mad," Atkinson said.

Some Hiram residents said they are searching for a piece of private property where they can display all the crosses.

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