COOS BAY, Ore. -- Facing a challenge to a cross in a city park, Coos Bay officials are getting help from a Texas organization that fights for public religious displays.

The cross is part of a Vietnam War memorial that was put up in 1972.

In February, the Freedom From Religion Foundation said it got local complaints and wrote the city saying the cross is an unconstitutional mixing of church and state.

The World newspaper reports the city retained the Liberty Institute, which has represented veterans groups in such disputes, after the organization offered advice.

The City Council heard testimony Tuesday from community members on either side of the issue, moving the meeting to larger quarters for a crowd that topped 100. Some who couldn't get in waved flags in the windows.

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