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Fayette, Connellsville officials deem Ten Commandments Monument historic

Rachel Basinger | for the Daily Courier
Donna McCann, with the Juniata Church in Dunbar, looks at the proclamation from the Fayette County commissioners deeming the Ten Commandments Monument at Connellsville Junior High School as one of historical significance. The City of Connellsville made a similar proclamation.

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By Rachel Basinger
Friday, Dec. 14, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

The faithful leaders and attendees of the weekly Ten Commandments rallies held at the Fraternal Order of Eagles on Arch Street in Connellsville are seeing several positive results from their labor.

Besides the fact that more than 3,200 yard signs of the Ten Commandments have been purchased and displayed, donations to the group have been significant enough to begin placing Ten Commandments granite monuments at several area churches.

Beyond all that, the group has gotten both Fayette County and Connellsville City officials to write proclamations declaring the Ten Commandments Monument at Connellsville Junior High School a historic monument.

The Rev. Ewing Marietta told those at the rally on Wednesday that in November he had requested the Fayette commissioners make a proclamation in that regard, but was turned down.

Due to several calls to the commissioners' offices, Ewing said they soon notified him they had drawn up a proclamation.

The proclamation states, in part, that “the commissioners will stand with those to support the historical designation of this as a historical landmark with all rights and privileges extended to said landmark.

“The Ten Commandments are in the highest court in our land thus it acts as the cornerstone and guide for a country based on the rule of law,” the proclamation continued. “Viewed across time, this granite monument, signifying the rock of American Law and Jurisprudence, has had a profound, positive influence on ‘We the People,' is worthy of preservation for the future generations of this One Nation Under God.”

Connellsville City officials also drew up a similar proclamation, stating the monument was “donated as an expression of citizenship, civic pride and civil involvement” by the Fraternal Order of Eagles as part of a nationwide program.

“This reflects the historical, legal, cultural and social history of our country and our community and has been in its present location for over 50 years,” the city proclamation read.

Finally, as part of the proclamation, the city designated the Ten Commandments Monument as “a historical site with cultural and historical significance to the City of Connellsville and its residents.”

Gary Colatch, another rally organizer, told those in attendance that they should be proud of their efforts.

“When have you have seen a town rally behind something like this,” he said. “Look at the unity in this small town. This (the monument) is part of our community, history and culture and we want it to stay here.”

With the received donations, Marietta said they hope to have the first granite Ten Commandments monument erected on Dec. 22 at St. John's Roman Catholic Church in Connellsville.

From there, the next churches in line for a granite Ten Commandments monument would be Faith Bible Church in Connellsville; St. Paul's AME Church in Uniontown; Dunbar Presbyterian Church; Paradise United Methodist Church in Bullskin Township; and a sixth one in the mountain region, possibly Indian Creek Baptist Church.

Marietta added that after the first granite monument is placed, the rest must wait until March, because Davis Monuments, which is doing the work, does not like to place monuments in the winter.

“As long as the money keeps coming in, we're going to keep putting these out,” Marietta said.

Wednesday's meeting was the last rally of this year. Beginning in 2013, rallies will be held every fourth Wednesday of the month. The next is scheduled for 5 p.m. Jan. 23.

Rachel Basinger is a freelance writer.

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