It ‘became conspicuous by its absence.’ “It's like a beacon of peace. When it's on everything is tranquil … It’s a glimmer of hope for a better tomorrow.” “’As far as I know this was the first military Easter sunrise service conducted on the island. The (Camp Smith) cross remained lighted all night long through the two-Week Easter season following the sunrise service.” It stayed … at least for a while.
The American Civil Liberties Union filed suit in Federal District Court seeking to force the Marine Corps to remove a huge cross from the military base here. General Kelley referred to the towering cross as an ‘ecumenical memorial’' to the marines and sailors who had died in the Vietnam War … a ‘'nonsectarian symbol of our national resolve to obtain a full accounting of American servicemen still missing or unaccounted for in Southeast Asia.’” The US District Court, District of Columbia, directed that the cross be removed … the Camp Smith Cross was taken down on December 1, 1988; an 80-foot flagpole flies a 20-by-38-foot American flag in its place.