Memorial Bench for Baby Removed from NC Park

There are few things that one can do in the case of he said he said. When one group claims one thing and another something completely different, there is little way to decide what truly happened. So, in the case of a bench placed in honor of a 16-month-old, it is hard to know who is telling the truth.

Christian News reports

A bench placed in memory of a toddler that was killed in September in a hit-and-run car accident has been removed from a public park after officials said that permission was not obtained to place it—an assertion that the family denies.

Mason Roten was 16 months old when a car pushed the vehicle his father was driving off the road and into a tree, which subsequently fell and crushed the child in his seat.

Last weekend, a memorial was placed Elkin Municipal Park, near the playground when Roten and his brother would play each week. The bench included the child’s name and a quotation from Psalm 127:3, along with two cutout crosses.

“Children are a gift from the Lord. They are a reward from Him,” it read.

The bench has since been removed by the city. The parents and the alumni who made and placed the bench claim that it was removed because of the religious symbols. But the city says otherwise.

Fox 8 reports

But Elkin’s town manager, John Holcomb, says alumni never got permission to put the bench in.

He sent this statement to FOX8:

“In Elkin we have an approval process for any bench to be added to our municipal park that is for a public memorial. This bench was added last Saturday without prior knowledge or approval. It was also installed on top of another memorial in the park. The bench was first noticed on Monday morning and was removed due to not being first approved by our recreation and parks director. The bench does have religious symbols and scripture in its design which no other bench in our park currently has. It is a beautiful bench and we are currently working to find another more suitable location for the bench which is in memory of a young child. Our Town Board will be discussing the matter at its next meeting to be held on December 14th. at 7 pm.”

So, we have a town manager saying that it had nothing to do with the religious symbols. While the student responsible for having the bench made and set says that he was told a very different tale.

Fox 8 continued

Ben Crosswhite, an Elkin High alum and family friend, says he got permission from the town’s parks and recreation director, Adam McComb.

When the bench was removed on Monday, Crosswhite says he was told that it was because the bench had a bible verse and two crosses engraved on it.

Who do we believe in such a case? Was it removed for not having permission from city officials? Was it removed for the crosses?

The city manager claims that the city is looking for a more suitable location for the bench. But if there is nothing wrong with the bench itself, why move the bench? It seems that Elkin is seeking to avoid a fight over the scripture being placed in public on municipal property.

Why else move the bench in the first place?