Plaque hanging delayed - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Posted by: George Metaxas, 4/2/04, 5:39 p.m.

Plaque hanging delayed

By Bill Lunn

There was a Ten Commandments controversy in the Mid-South Friday. A Mississippi mayor planned to hang a plaque with the Commandments in city hall. But things didn't quite work out that way. "There was talk of the big controversy last year in Alabama, where the Ten Commandments were forcibly removed, and Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore was ordered to step down. Would that kind of controversy come to tiny Walls? The problem, as those in Walls quickly realized, is that first you need the plaque.

Life is pretty laid back in Walls. Kids run home from school. Old railroad buildings sit abandoned, reminding residents of more bustling days. Stray dogs seem to be in charge now. You can imagine the excitement when word got out that the mayor would hang a controversial Ten Commandments plaque in city hall Friday. Reporters came from all over the northern part of the state. But there was one problem. Someone forgot to order the plaque. "I need to work a little better on communication." Bill Rasmussen organized the event. He thought Randy Sharp was bringing the plaque from Tupelo. Sharp showed up. But no plaque. No Ten Commandments. Rasmussen said, "We're gonna see what we can do about getting that problem corrected ASAP." Mayor Bobby Smith didn't realize the problem until after Action News 5 showed up. "I guess because of some miscommunication there's not plaque to put up today. We'll get one and put it up." The plaque was supposed to go on the wall where a picture of a boat on the beach now hangs. For now, the painting will have to stay. But Rasmussen pledges the Ten Commandments will show up. "I would say give me about maybe two weeks." Rasmussen says he will try to get local businesses to donate money so Walls can pay for a Ten Commandments plaque. Whatever he can't raise, Rasmussen says he's willing to pay out of his own pocket.

Last August, a federal judge ordered a 53-hundred pound monument removed from Alabama's judicial building. Chief Justice Roy Moore installed the monument. An ethics panel suspended him for disobeying a federal order to have the monument removed. Moore has since asked for his job back.

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