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Ground Zero cross allowed to stay at Sept. 11 museumcomment (0)

August 7, 2014


NEW YORK — A cross-shaped beam from the wreckage of the World Trade Center can remain on display in the National Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum at Ground Zero, a three-judge panel of the 2nd United States Circuit Court of Appeals ruled, dismissing a lawsuit brought by atheists.

American Atheists filed a federal suit in 2012 claiming the 17-foot display at the museum was unconstitutional. The group said its members suffered from both physical and emotional damages from the presence of the beamed cross, resulting in headaches, indigestion and mental pain.

The atheist group filed an appeal after a lower court dismissed the lawsuit, shifting the focus from the cross to asking for an added plaque that would say something like “atheists died, too.”

An observer would understand that the cross also was an inclusive symbol for any persons seeking hope and comfort in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, federal Judge Reena Raggi wrote in the court’s decision. 

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