CROWN POINT - It was a rededication, not just of a set of stone tablets that
had been restored to the Old Courthouse Square after a 20-year absence, but to
the 100 or so people who attended, it also was a rededication of the faith of a
The ceremony that took place Tuesday morning at the northeast corner of the
square marked the cooperative effort of the Crown Point community to aid in the
restoration of the engraving of two stone tablets on a three-by
four-and-a-half-foot slab of marble.
"The first time these commandments were here this was Lake County's
courthouse - a testimony of all of Lake County," Mayor James Metros said as he
addressed the crowd.
"God and government are no longer intertwined," Metros said. "But I believe
very much that this nation was founded on biblical principles and belief in one
God. It's what made us a great, strong, nation for over 200 years.
"We bring back a little piece of history of what we should be - the way we
should treat our neighbors and believe in God," Metros said.
The tablets were originally erected at the northeast corner of the square on
May 26, 1957, by the Fraternal Order of Eagles.
At the top of the commandments is an engraving of the Eye of God which sits
atop an eagle and an American flag. Above the commandments are engravings of
two smaller tablets with the commandments which appear in Hebrew. A Star of
David also is engraved on the tablet. At the bottom is a dedication to the
people of Lake County.
About 18 years ago, vandals broke the dark marble slab and after being
declared irreparable, the pieces were thrown out.
Metros credited longtime Crown Point resident Elaine Englebright with
spearheading the effort to restore the Ten Commandments monument.
"So many people got involved when they found out," said Metros, who also
commended Steve Greer, also a Crown Point resident, who saved the broken
tablets from the trash bin years ago.
Englebright said her purpose in working to restore the tablets was for them
to "be a good influence and an enlightenment to all, especially young people."
Englebright's mission took her several years and the recruitment of the help
of many to complete. "But persistence paid off," she said.
Englebright thanked the Lake Courthouse Foundation, which now owns the
property, and G&G Landscaping, Anderson Monuments, Ozinga Ready Mixed Concrete,
Swartz Welding, Crown Point Kiwanis, The Federal Order of Eagles, the city's 14
churches of various denominations, and others who helped contribute to the
restoration of the stone.
Pam Ruse, of Crown Point, said afterward, that she felt, "really blessed,"
by the ceremony.
"I think it's wonderful," she said. "It brings everybody together."
Rhonda Gancarz, of Crown Point, said it was, "really fantastic that someone
is finally bringing back the basics of what we believe in; especially for kids
in the city."
Greer, who donated the broken tablets for restoration, said he was,
"delighted to see it put back in its proper place. I have special feelings for
this courthouse. It's been kind of in limbo for a long time. I commend all the
people who put in hard work to get it back here."