It’s hard to believe it’s been ten years since the dark and horrid day that was 9/11. I’ll bet each and every one of us remembers where he or she was. I’ll never forget the words of the principal at my kids’ school as he ran out to the parking lot, hair disheveled and jacket flapping behind him. “We’re under attack! Our nation is under attack!” And like that, he was off, no doubt, like the rest of us, trying to wrap his head around what was happening.
One of the iconic images to emerge from those early days was a two-ton section of cross beams that looked like a rugged cross. It was moved to Saint Patrick’s church, blessed and a plaque was placed on it that read:
“The Cross at Ground Zero – Founded September 13, 2001; Blessed October 4, 2001; Temporarily Relocated October 15, 2006. Will return to WTC Museum, a sign of comfort for all.”
Now the group, American Atheists, claiming a violation of church and state, have sued in an effort to block the cross from being included at the World trade Center Memorial and Museum. So should a symbol of Christianity be on display there?
Truth be told, I’m really torn on this one. I was raised in a Christian home and am a believer, albeit a tolerant one. And I admit, I, like so many others, I leaned on my faith as I struggled to grasp the horror of 9/11. I am also fully aware that this country was founded on Christian beliefs and principals.
But we are truly a melting pot now and not everyone who calls this country home is a Christian. There were also many people, who professed many faiths who died that day. Should their beliefs also be recognized? And what will this do to help do away with the stigma so many Muslims say they still face ?
As torn as I am on this, I do think the cross belongs there. People are going to see what they want to see, believe what they want to believe when they look at that piece of metal. For Christians, it’s a source of comfort during an awful time; it obviously won’t carry the same weight for those who are not. But that section of beam was a part of history, a reminder of that day and should be have a home there.
Okay, so let’s debate. Do you think a symbol of Christianity should be displayed at the World Trade Center Site and Museum? Do you think American Atheists are right in claiming it is a violation of church and state? Do you think other faiths should be included? Let me hear ya!