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Atheists want ‘Ground Zero Cross’ excluded from 9/11 museum

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NEW YORK — The 9/11 Museum opening this spring plans to feature the “Ground Zero Cross.”

But atheists say it should not be a part of the museum on government-leased property.

They’re arguing before a federal appeals court that the “Ground Zero Cross,” as it’s known, should not be featured at the museum.

They rallied outside the courthouse Thursday before oral arguments were presented to a three-judge panel.

Their complaint is about the 17-foot cross found in the rubble of the World Trade Center.

The two beams standing at the top of twisted steel and crumpled concrete became a sign of hope for first responders, victims’ families and thousands around the nation.

But atheists say it is a religious symbol and it should not be part of a museum on government property.

On the other side of the issue, the Becket Fund, which has filed a brief on behalf of cross supporters, says the cross is part of 9/11 history, regardless of its religious meaning, so it’s inclusion at the museum is appropriate.

A ruling on the case could be two months away.


  • Jeff Bender

    The sign of the cross signifies total resolve to give one’s life to save the lives of others. Under these circumstances, I believe that the cross is an excellent example of total commitment to help others that cannot help themselves and paid the ultimate price. THE CROSS BELONGS THERE SO WE WILL NEVER FORGET! I want to thank all the emergency responders for the sacrifice they made that horrible day!

    • Ann Pirie

      Very nice comment. A cross symbolizes death and life which is exactly what occurred that horrible day. It is for everyone as Jason so nicely points out.

  • Jason (@Jason55523814)

    I consider myself an atheist I am also a Firefighter, but I don’t believe in taking away the rights of certain religious groups to express their beliefs. Everyone should have the right to express their beliefs.

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