City raises cash to defend Woonsocket cross

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The city of Woonsocket has raised $15,000 for a fund established to defend against a potential lawsuit over a monument topped with a cross that has drawn a complaint from an atheist group.

The Woonsocket Call reports that Mayor Leo Fontaine says donations have been coming in from around the country. A local lumber company that’s been selling replica crosses presented the city council with a check for more than $1,100.

The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation has called for the removal of the cross or monument, which is on city property. The group says it violates the constitutional principle of the separation of church and state.

Fontaine says he will fight to keep the memorial. It honors four soldiers killed in World Wars I and II.

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