Tire dealer defies Scrooges by displaying cross

Dec. 22, 2004

A lighted cross built by a group of war veterans in Bennington, Vt., as a tribute to soldiers both past and present has found a new home at a local tire dealership, Wallick Tire Service, after the town´s trustees declared it illegal.

"The veterans got together and built a cross with red, white and blue lights in remembrance of (past) veterans and people in the armed services now," Wallick Tire owner Don Wallick told moderntiredealer.com this morning.

"Unfortunately, we had people complain that it was there for religious reasons. It wasn´t put up for religious reasons. It was a symbol of hope. There are some ignorant people out there."

The veterans were forced to take the cross down, sparking public outcry.

"I then got a phone call from a local person who asked if I´d be willing to put the cross on my property, and I said, ´My God, yes!´

I can´t tell you how much respect I have for anyone in the armed services."

Since then, Wallick has received phone calls, cards and letters from people as far away as Florida who have praised his efforts.

He says the cross will remain on his property as long as the veterans want it there.