— Fred Edwords remembers the first time he saw the giant cross rising over this small town in Prince George's County.
The Peace Cross, as it's known locally, commemorates the county's World War I dead. A plaque at the base of the 40-foot structure lists 39 names, and includes a quote from President Woodrow Wilson. There's no figure of Jesus, or religious imagery or text of any kind.
But to Edwords, who lives in nearby Greenbelt, it looked unmistakably like the Christian crosses of his Protestant youth, standing on a government-owned median strip at the intersection of Maryland Route 450 and Alternate U.S. 1.
"I thought, 'Well, that's odd. What's that doing...