Controversial Ten Commandments Monument In East Texas - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

11/16/04-Longview

Controversial Ten Commandments Monument In East Texas

It was one year ago, almost to the day, that the Ten Commandments monument was removed from an Alabama courthouse. For months the monument was put away, until a group of Veterans began touring with it across the country. Today it made a stop in Longview for some students.

"Honor thou father and mother. Thou shall not kill. Thou shall not commit adultery. Thou shall not steal," a Spring Hill student reads the commandments.

The students knew they were going to see this piece of history. "We talked about it yesterday in social studies," says 6th grade student Nathan Muller.

"We were just kind of curious. We didn't really know what it was about or exactly what was on it," says High Schooler Katie Maddox.

But when they saw it, they were surprised. "It has a lot more on it than I thought. I thought it was just the Commandments, but it has the National Anthem and the Declaration of Independence, alot more stuff than what I just thought was on it," says Katie.

Though they listen to their teachers, seeing it and touching it brings a new understanding.

"I'm glad that you gave me the chance to see this," says one girl to a Veteran.

For the Veterans the monument does not just represent the moment this piece was removed from Alabama's state judicial building. For them, the monument also represents the future. In a few months the Supreme court will again take up the issue.

"They're going to hear two cases; one in Texas, one in Kentucky, and the question is whether or not we as citizens, we as individuals, can place the 10 commandments on any piece of government property," says Veteran Jim Cabiness.

"I think it's sad that they took it out of Alabama. I think it should be put back where it came from," says high schooler Natalie Cooper.

But for now it stays on a truck, giving Americans a glimpse at a part of our nation's history.

The monument is getting national attention as it makes it way through East Texas. A television crew from Nightline is in Longview today working on a report, which will air sometime in the future.

Amy Tatum reporting. atatum@kltv.com

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