Pro-life crosses damaged

Published 8:37 am Friday, July 2, 2010

FRANKLIN—For three months, members of Rock Church of Franklin have posted white crosses on Stewart Drive to represent the 175 abortions performed weekly in Hampton Roads.

It’s the group’s attempt to get across its pro-life message.

When those crosses were damaged Monday night, it left Dr. Michael Cicero distressed.

“We did this for education and awareness of what happens in Hampton Roads,” said Cicero, who belongs to the church.

The Franklin pediatrician doesn’t now whether kids or someone opposed to the group’s anti-abortion message damaged nearly half of the 255 handmade crosses on private property behind Lowe’s. Cicero is leaning toward the latter.

“My sense is violence breeds violence,” he said. “Abortion is a very violent thing for both babies and mothers.”

The ministry with Rock Church in April began putting up 17 crosses a week to represent the number of abortions performed in Hampton Roads. The group chose one, 18- to 24-inch cross for every 10 abortions. Crosses are pounded 6 inches into the ground.

“We were making a public service announcement,” Cicero said.

Initially, he thought some deer could’ve knocked down the crosses. A closer look changed his mind.

“It looks like someone had a truck or trailer and made a swath,” Cicero said.

Rock Church member Lesa Marie Kentner has thoughts similar to Cicero’s.

“It could be kids or someone who disagrees with it (the message),” Kentner said.

The Rev. David Dillon, who is pastor for the non-denominational church, expressed his disappointment.

“To me the crosses are memorials,” Dillon said. “This was an attempt to give babies, who never had a chance to speak, that chance. It’s not a cemetery, but it’s representative of these lives.”

The group will repair and put up the damaged crosses and continue its effort, Cicero said.

“That’s what the process of being pro-life is all about,” he said. “It’s about continually regrouping and standing against a force that would do this type of thing.”