Township board gets earful over cross’ future along Lake Michigan

Courtesy images via Ludington Daily News livestream on Facebook.

LUDINGTON, Mich. —  The Pere Marquette Township Board will wait for legal counsel before deciding the fate of a cross honoring Fr. Jacques Marquette.

More than 200 people attended a special meeting Tuesday night at Peterson Auditorium in Ludington. A steady stream of citizens voiced opinions as to whether the monument on Lakeshore Drive should remain at its present site, overlooking Pere Marquette Lake. The consensus of the crowd: the cross should stay.

Courtesy: Ludington Daily News

While Marquette died in the Ludington area and was originally buried there, his remains were moved to the St. Ignace area, the home of the Father Marquette National Memorial.

Groups like the Michigan Association of Civil Rights say the cross is unconstitutional, but some locals say it’s more than a religious symbol that also serves as a reference point for boaters and fishermen on the lake. Earlier this month, FOX 17 reached out to the Michigan Association of Civil Rights Activists for comment, and spokesman Mitch Kahle responded with the following statement:

“There’s nothing new in this case until the township board votes on the matter. Based on the facts and legal       precedent, we encourage the township board to take action that removes the offending cross but maintains the existing masonry structure and plaque. The township has other options, of course, but this would be a simple, reasonable, fair-minded, and virtually cost-free solution that would satisfy complainants and the law.”

Pere Marquette Township Supervisor thanked those who spoke for sharing their concerns and comments. The concluding statement:

“I can see by the turnout and by listening to the voices out there, that this issue is deeply personal to many individuals. We, as a board, understand and appreciate this. We are committed to finding a solution or direction that is not only in the best interest of our township, but in the best interest of the Father Marquette memorial. Again, we’ve got a lot of factors and a lot of options to consider and we thank you – thank you for being patient. Thank you for giving the township Board of Trustees tonight an opportunity to hear it.”

Previous  stories:


Courtesy: Ludington Daily News’ Facebook livestream coverage, and screen-capture images.

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  • Not racist, not violent, but no longer silent

    The public has spoken – seems like they want the cross to stay. The township should follow the will of the people and NOT bow down to this “Michigan civil right activists” bullcrap. Send them packing..
    Please township board – do NOT wuss out like they did in Grand Haven!!!!

  • Jewish Carpenter

    Are they supporting Satanism and their Facebook page are they supporting people in Missouri on their Facebook page or paying any attention to Missouri at all when they’re a Michigan chapter, a valid civil rights activist chapter? call in the state to find out now.

  • dace

    “..we encourage the township board to take action that removes the offending cross ” Speaking of offensive…. please, just go away…. YOU offend US.

  • Kevin Rahe

    It should be noted that no-one who spoke at the meeting called for the cross to be removed. Even self-described atheists and left-leaning folks said they saw it as a historical marker rather than a religious one. A woman who had attended a Catholic school in the area said that that was also how it was presented to them as children – as a historical rather than a religious site. One woman said she didn’t think taxpayer funds should be used to maintain it, but suggested transferring it to a private association to be maintained going forward. If there was anyone there with a position as extreme as the one espoused in these complaints, they weren’t willing to talk about it.

    Based on the comments and resolve I witnessed, the folks who brought this complaint are in for a knock-down, drag-out fight. I think they chose the wrong town to pick on – Ludington is not Grand Haven. Regardless of how saving it is accomplished, that cross will never come down. If anything, it will be enhanced to become more prominent than it already is, as it has rekindled what may have been a waning appreciation of the history these groups are trying to erase.