The Old Rugged Cross
True Story by Janice Frye
The Cross on
Pensacola Beach has been on that sand dune for over 50 years. It
commemorates the site where the first Christian services were
held in 1559, shortly after Tristan de Luna and his crew landed
there. The Spanish settlement failed eventually, but the cross
is there to commemorate the attempt. A sunrise service is held
there every Easter Sunday.
It has been amazing to me that this cross has weathered
so many storms and has never been destroyed. Hurricane Opal tore
Beach in 1995, but the cross still stood. Many other smaller
hurricanes have tried to knock it down and failed. But Hurricane
Ivan had me worried. There was total devastation on Pensacola
Beach after Ivan’s fury. My husband, Rick, a police officer, is
automatically assigned to the beach during hurricanes and was
the first one out there at dawn as the winds were still fairly
strong. The bridge had been knocked down, so he had to get over
there by boat.
The first thing I asked when I finally heard from him
was, "What about the cross?" He said, "I've already taken a
picture for you."
I find it incredible that it still stands, considering
it's only a few yards from a roadway that was totally demolished
and all the homes in that area were leveled.
Rick said, “Not only has it remained standing, it has
never been damaged…not even a scratch.”