Crosses dot Ironton lawns; Will it catch on?

Published 9:12 am Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Some of you may recall last fall’s article in The Tribune (Vol 2010, No. 246) regarding how an email story about an atheist who did not like the crosses on a city bridge in Frankenmuth, Mich.

As you may recall, an atheist moved into Frankenmuth and forthwith complained about the crosses. The city responded by removing the crosses. Emboldened, the man then complained that the city logo must also be removed or amended since it contained a cross and a heart, which was fashioned relative to the Lutheran heritage of the original founders.

When the citizens of Frankenmuth discovered what was going on, many residents organized their own ‘Cross Campaign’ and hundreds of crosses were placed conspicuously in private lawns.

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According to Charlie Graham the current City Manager with whom I spoke, “It was a wonderful site to behold!” Small white crosses were all over the town.

A couple months ago, I emailed the Mr. Graham to see how things were going. Here is his response:

“There was a tremendous backlash against the man who brought this issue up. One of things that happened was that one of our Lutheran Churches made several small plain wooden crosses and distributed them to the Church members who then put them in the ground in front of their homes. This idea caught on and members of the other denominations in town did the same thing.

“It was quite impressive to see. With the passage of time there aren’t as many of the crosses in yards now as there were four years ago. But there are still a lot of them out there. Fortunately for all of us, the man who caused the uproar in the first place moved away and we have not heard from him since about 3 years ago.”

I am writing to thank each of the Ironton residents who still have their white crosses posted. Of course, I also want to thank and encourage those of you who had crosses displayed well before I heard about Frankenmuth.

Now, every time I drive thru Ironton on my daily errands, (nearly every day) I can’t help but notice how many crosses remain. And, every time I see the cross in your yard, I thank God for your courageous witness.

As Mr. Graham suggested, it is a wonderful sight to behold!. And, I pray many other Ironton residents feel the same.

And, as my wife and I often travel to and from Sevierville, Tenn., I am often filled with tears of joy to see the crosses we’ve planted still standing along the highways after so many months. I’m already anxious to see how many along the highways leading to Florida will be remaining from our trip earlier this year!

So, I want to say THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS each of you who are willing to share your faith and thereby encourage others to “receive and share the story of the cross”. I know you, your family, and the untold numbers of passers-by, are being blessed; just as are we.

I have new crosses just waiting to be claimed should you be interested. Of course, you can make your own or you can also find them at: Bartram’s Groceries & Printing Express (Ironton), Food Fair (Coal Grove) and Ink-N-A-Blink (Ashland).

Dan Hieronimus