By Bob Roberts

CHICAGO (CBS) — Forty tradesmen, their families, their friends and the devout gathered in Daley Plaza as they erected a nativity scene for the 33rd consecutive year.

The tradesmen of the self-styled “God Squad” arrived around 8:30 a.m. and by 10:00 a.m. they were virtually finished.

Children spread straw on the life-size figures.

There was no controversy evident but it wasn’t always that way.

Reverend Hiram Crawford and activist William Grutzmacher battled in court 33 years ago to obtain the right to put the scene at Daley Plaza on display.

Crawford’s son Hiram Jr. says their work is not forgotten.

“When the federal judge hit that gavel and said that manger scene better be up and we thank God that it is up,” said Crawford. “And let’s continue to raise Jesus up.”

A few feet way sits the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s atheist “A.”

Both will remain on the east side of Daley Plaza until Dec. 30th.

 

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