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RESOURCE CENTER AND ARCHIVES

Ozark church uses crosses to memorialize lives lostcomment (0)

March 1, 2001

By Greg Heyman


The 363 small white crosses recently standing outside of Logan Road Baptist Church in Ozark presented a contrast to the lawn outside the church that had been left brown by winter.
   
As a whole, each of the crosses represented the total lives lost in several American conflicts. But the separate clusters spoke of each battle individually — one for each 100,000 deaths in different wars.
   
A lone cross symbolized the 110,901 men and women who lost their lives in both the Korean Conflict and the Vietnam War. Not far away, five crosses paid tribute to the 522,832 killed in two world wars, while another six remembered the sacrifice of 523,656 Americans during the Revolutionary and Civil wars.
   
Then there are the crosses representing the lives of the more than 3.5 million who would never be able to fight in a war or even be born. Dwarfing the other 11 crosses in size of numbers, 352 crosses were erected to remember the 35.2 million babies that were victims of abortion.
   
Logan Road Pastor Charles Goldsmith said he hopes the crosses will make people aware of the importance of human life.
   
“If things are passed over, you tend to get wearied from the battle, without fully comprehending the magnitude of its impact,” Goldsmith said. “And Roe vs. Wade is still a conflict — it’s been going on for 27 years now,” he said, referring to the landmark case on abortion rights.
   
Goldsmith said the crosses were made by the church’s Royal Ambassadors. They were put up Jan. 13 and remained there through Jan. 21, in observance of Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. Even though abortion is often a controversial issue, Goldsmith said the crosses were not disturbed during the two-week period.
   
“We’ve been very blessed,” he said. “God’s guarded them.”
   
Goldsmith said the idea of equating abortion deaths with lives lost in America’s major wars came from information provided by the Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission, which paralleled the military conflicts against the war on the unborn.
   
“From that thought process, we came into the deaths associated with different historical conflicts,” Goldsmith said.

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