From staff reports
McVEYTOWN - The Ten Commandments have both religious and secular significance, according to a group rallying for freedom to display the guiding principles.
"They are significant as one very important root of our democracy," said the Rev. Ewing M. Marietta, in a press release. "If our young people do not understand where we have come from as a nation, they will not be able to understand where we are going."
A community service is set to dedicate a new Ten Commandment monument, beginning 4 p.m. today at McVeytown United Methodist Church. From there, the congregation will walk to the site of the granite display, located at the junction of state Routes 22 and 522 in McVeytown.
Marietta said the monument is one in a movement started after the Freedom From Religion Foundation filed a lawsuit against Connellsville School District in September 2012. The foundation demanded removal of a 1957 Fraternal Order of Eagles granite Ten Commandments Monument that currently sits on school grounds.
In response, Marietta, a graduate of the school district, organized a group called "Thou Shalt Not Move Them." The group held rallies where hundreds of citizens asked the school board not to remove the monument.
Although the Connellsville Monument was shrouded in September 2012, as requested by the school's lawyers, thousands of Ten Commandment two-foot by four-foot signs from "Thou Shalt Not Move Them" have been displayed in Fayette, Westmoreland, Washington, Greene, Bedford, Mifflin and Somerset counties. The movement has traveled as far as New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Florida, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and beyond.
With money raised through donations and the sale of signs, Marietta said Thou Shalt Not Move Them sponsors the granite monument.
Guests are encouraged to attend the dedication of the monument to enjoy music, recognize veterans and witness the folding of a flag in memory of fallen veterans. McVeytown Presbyterian Church is helping to coordinate the event.
For more information, call 437-1871 or 724-626-1265.