R.I. mayor: 'Knuckleheads' seek cross removed from city property
WOONSOCKET, R.I. (AP) — Woonsocket’s mayor is calling those seeking the removal of a cross on city property on constitutional grounds “knuckleheads.”
Leo Fontaine tells WPRO-AM the cross-shaped World War I monument on the grounds of the fire department is a “very fitting tribute to our soldiers.” He says the monument is not going away, though he hopes it will be refurbished and displayed more prominently, perhaps elsewhere.
The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation wrote to Fontaine saying the cross should be removed because it violates the separation of church and state.
Fontaine says he’s had hundreds of calls and emails, including from law firms offering to defend against a potential lawsuit.
The station reports that Major Gen. Reginald Centracchio (sehn-TRAH’-kee-oh), former head of the Rhode Island National Guard, is planning a rally for next week to keep the monument.