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Journal/Book Title/Conference

The Prindle Post

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In 1925, a 40-foot stone cross was erected in Bladensburg Maryland. The cross was built by the American Legion and is known as the Bladensburg Cross or, more commonly, the Peace Cross. It was built as a monument to honor the 49 men from Prince George’s County who fought and died in World War I. The design of the monument is a simple white cross, which was a fairly common style in cemeteries at the time of its construction (though some argue that the cross was a central symbol of the war). Construction initially began on public land, but when the project ran out of funding, the American Legion took over and completed construction in a private capacity. In 1961, the state obtained the land through the state’s exercise of its eminent domain power for the purposes of constructing a highway. The memorial now stands on a highway median on state land and is maintained by Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. In 1985, the commission spent $100,000 in taxpayer money to renovate the monument. At that time, the state conducted a ceremony during which the monument was rededicated to veterans of all wars. In 2008, the legislature set an additional $100,000 for renovation of the deteriorating monument, but the general consensus is that at this stage the monument is beyond repair.