The Mojave Desert cross at the center of a long legal battle that ended at the Supreme Court has been stolen.
Nearly two weeks after the Court ruled the monument could stay on federal land, thieves cut through its metal bolts and removed it.
Joe Davis, director of public affairs for the Veterans of Foreign Wars, appeared on CBN Newschannel's Morning program for more insight on the stolen memorial.
Click here to watch the interview.
The seven-foot cross, which served as a memorial to World War I veterans for 76 years, had been at the center of a long legal battle over separation of church and state issues. For the past 10 years, wooden planks covered up the cross until last month when the Supreme Court ruled it could stay.
"This was a legal fight that a vandal just made personal to 50 million veterans, military personnel, and their families," National Commander Thomas J. Tradewell said.
CBN News spoke with Steve Robertson of the veteran group The American Legion for reaction to the recent theft. Click play for his comments.
Authorities said the suspects' motives for stealing the cross are still unknown, but potential suspects could range from metal scavengers to people interested in the Supreme Court case.
"The American Legion expects whoever is responsible for this vile act to be brought to justice," Clarence Hill, the group's national commander, said. "While the memorial has been attacked, the fight will continue to ensure that veterans memorials will remain sacrosanct."
The U.S. Justice Department is investigating the case, and a veterans group is offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.