Veterans Memorial Park in tiny Belle Plaine, Minn., is packed with remembrances for the town’s men and women in uniform. Soon, it will get one more: A solemn black cube holding an upturned helmet, its sides adorned with upside-down pentagrams.
The Satanic Temple announced Friday that it had received approval to install the monument, which is in production. Within a couple of months, it is expected to take its place alongside a flag-lined walkway, a marble plaque and a retired UH-1H Iroquois “Huey” helicopter positioned as if it is hovering above the ground.
The approval of the monument brings a new twist to a long-running battle that began last summer, when someone put up a metal silhouette of an infantryman kneeling before a cross. A resident objected, calling it a religious symbol that violates the principle of the separation of church and state.
After months of acrimony, the city decided to make part of the park a “public forum,” open to virtually any group that wants to honor the town’s veterans. The Satanic Temple took them up on it.