Monday, August 14, 2006

The Cross in the Sand

From Pennsacola News Journal:

But the cross on Pensacola Beach by Fort Pickens Road symbolizes the birth of the United States' first European settlement.

Emerging from the white sand dunes, the universal Christian symbol commemorates Spanish Conquistador Don Tristan de Luna's first Mass when he landed on Santa Rosa Island on Aug. 15, 1559.

On the same day 447 years later, religious and community leaders plan to surround the symbol at a 6 p.m. ceremony. They encourage the public to sink their toes into this event as well.

"We're rededicating the sign that identifies the cross," said Joe Barron, member of the Knights of Columbus, De Luna Assembly, the group responsible for erecting the memorial in 1954. "We'll be there with a color guard."

While the cross survived Hurricane Ivan in 2004, the sign that identified it did not. The Roman Catholic fraternal organization has remade the sign.

Bishop John H. Ricard of the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee will lead the rededication at the cross on Fort Pickens Road.