Statue of praying soldier to be removed from North Carolina city

The statue of the praying soldier will now be removed(Photo: Liberty Institute)

The city council of King in North Carolina finally gave up their legal battle to keep a veteran's memorial statue after a four-year dispute triggered by an atheist's complaint.

According to The Daily Caller, the city council ceded to the statue's removal after projecting $2 million of legal fees on top of the $50,000 they already spent in trying to keep it.

"The decision to settle this case has been very difficult for the King city council," the city said in a press release. "It was not reached until it became clear that the costs of proceeding to trial would greatly exceed the city's insurance policy limits."

According to The Winston-Salem Journal, the legal fees would mean that the $2 million would fall upon the city's taxpayers, exceeding the city's insurance limit of $1 million.

Mayor Pro Tempore Dillard Brunette told The Journal, "There's no win in this situation."

Sixty town residents witnessed the vote on the settlement against plaintiff, US Army veteran Steven Hewett.

According to The Journal, Hewett, represented by Americans United for Separation of Church and State, sued the city for violating the Constitution over its apparent promotion of Christianity using the statue of the praying soldier and a Christian flag at the city's central park.

The Journal further reports that there were mixed reactions to the decision. Many of the residents felt that the city did not violate any constitutional laws and that the city should not be forced to give up its rights since the majority of the residents wanted to keep the memorial.

A local pastor commented that removing the Christian memorial amounted to discrediting the blessings of God upon the city.