Mount Soledad was named by California settlers, meaning solitude. A cross to commemorate war veterans was put up by the community in 1913, but it was stolen in 1923. Another cross was constructed in 1934 that was pushed over by winds in 1952 and resurrected in 1958. Today the 43-foot wooden cross is owned by the Mount Soledad Historical Association in reaction to lawsuits filed against civic ownership of a religious symbol. Easter sunrise services and weddings are traditionally held at the site.
The cross continues to be the subject of much controversey. Opponents want the cross removed, but supporters want the land under the cross ceded to the federal government as a national monument.