The Woonsocket, R.I. mayor has promised to defend a monument that features religious symbols and prayer.
"The Firefighter's Prayer" is featured on the monument alongside a cross at the city's fire station on Cumberland Hill Road. It was erected 91 years ago to honor Woonsocket veterans of World Wars I and II.
The monument made national headlines earlier this year after a national group wanted it taken down.
The Freedom from Religion Foundation wanted the cross removed on the grounds that the monument violates the separation of church and state. The group also wanted the Woonsocket Fire Department to remove "The Firefighter's Prayer" and a picture of an angel from its website because it is a direct violation of the First Amendment and the Constitution.
At an event on Friday, Mayor Leo Fontaine said, "We will defend this monument no matter what." Fontaine said the monument is a symbol of the community. He said the city will fight to keep the monument where it stands.
The city has raised $18,500 for a defense fund. So far, the Freedom from Religion Foundation has not filed a lawsuit but the city said it is ready to deal with one.
To donate to the fund, visit ourmonument.webs.com.