Another battle won by the devil. Thank God he loses in the end. Posted on Fri, May. 14, 2004 Ten Commandments hauled away from city hall BY JOHN MYERS NEWS TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER A block of granite that withstood 47 years of nature's elements couldn't stand up to federal judge's order. Early Friday the Ten Commandments monument was removed from the front lawn of Duluth's City Hall after months of legal and political wrangling that has divided the city. The removal was heralded as a victory for supporters of the separation of church and state, of the principle that government can neither favor nor tred on any one faith. But supporters of the monument, especially evangelical Christians, said the empty granite base where the monument stood is a sign of the "moral decay of our country." The monument was ordered removed after an agreement between the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota and the city of Duluth that was approved by Federal District Court Judge James Rosenbaum late Thursday. The ACLU had filed suit on behalf of several Duluth residents demanding the monument be removed because it violated the Constitutional separation of church and state. City workers, assisted by employees of a private monument company, made quick work of the task at hand, first chipping away a thin line of mortar before attaching a heavy strap to the monument. A large crane plucked the 1,600-pound hunk of granite off its base and laid it gently in the back of a city truck. The entire operation took less than an hour and was completed before 8:30 a.m. with downtown workers watching as they drove to work. The seven-foot tall monument, which sat at the site since being donated to the city by the Fraternal Order of the Eagles in 1957, will be stored in a city storage garage.