Non-profit buys Mt. Soledad land from Department of Defense - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Non-profit buys Mt. Soledad land from Department of Defense

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LA JOLLA (CBS 8) - The decades-long battle over the Mount Soledad cross is taking a new turn.

The Department of Defense has sold the half-acre parcel atop Mount Soledad in La Jolla to the non-profit that's been maintaining the site for more than 60 years. The half acre plot of land in La Jolla, which the cross sits on, was sold to the Mount Soledad Memorial Association for $1.4 million. President Barrack Obama signed legislation giving the sale a green light. 

Mount Soledad has been a polarizing issue. Opponents say the Christian symbol does not represent all veterans and their families. But supporters say the land is now owned by a private organization and lawsuits wanting to remove the cross should stop. 

"I'm very confident that the memorial walls and the cross as they presently are, are going to stay exactly the same as they were and as they are right now," said Bruce Bailey with the Mt. Soledad Memorial Association.

Critics held signs in protest and say the cross is a violation of the separation of church and state.

The memorial and 27 foot Latin cross was established in 1954 and there are 3,700 plaques of veterans on the walls.

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