Along with abandoned mines and homesteads, a telephone booth, and at one point, a secret swimming pool, the Mojave Desert is, and has been full of interesting objects. Out of all these objects, the most controversial has been the White Cross World War I Memorial ("Mojave Memorial Cross"). Erected in 1934 to honor the veterans of World War I, the cross had an unremarkable life for roughly sixty years outside of Cima. However, at the end of the twentieth century, and the beginning of the twenty-first century, opponents of the cross mounted a number of legal challenges against the cross, stating that it violated the prohibitions in the Constitution regarding the separation of church and state, as it was on public (National Park Service) land.
The legal battle surrounding the cross - which had been covered by a wooden box - eventually reached the Supreme Court, and was the subject of a reported decision, Salazar v. Buono, which held that the cross did not need to be removed from public land, nor violate the Constitution. After this decision in 2010, members of the public took matters into their own hands, and one night, cut down the original cross and absconded with it. In 2012, the cross was replaced with a new cross, and the land it was on - Sunrise Rock - was transferred to a private organization. Today, the new cross stands in the place of the old cross, and can be seen by visitors traveling to and from the nearby town of Cima.
Directions: The cross is six miles North of Cima on the Cima Road, and is readily visible.
Tips: The cross can be visited as a short side trip by hikers looking to hike the Teutonia Peak Trail, as it is nearly adjacent to the memorial.