Photo credit: Staten Island Advance/Ryan Lavis
Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, proudly announced that the Second Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the American Atheists’ challenge to including the famed “Ground Zero Cross” in the National September 11 Museum.
The rusted, twisted metal beams were pulled from the rubble of the 9/11 attacks just feet from where Rev. Mychal F. Judge, chaplain of the NYFD, died while helping victims on that horrible day.
Photo credit: Associated Press
Rev. Brian Jordan, a friend and fellow Franciscan of Mychal, saved the cross. Each weekend, Jordan said Mass at the foot of the cross. His congregation was a mixture of victims' families, workers and visitors that grew from dozens to hundreds. There were people of all religions and none. What seemed to matter most was the gathering together.
The only work of art commissioned for the National 9/11 Museum is a wall made up of 2,983 individual squares of Fabriano Italian paper—one square for every person killed in the Sept. 11 attacks and in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center—each hand-painted a different shade of blue to capture the brilliant, clear blue sky on the morning of the attack.
Nestled in the center of the artwork is the Virgilian quote, “No day shall erase you from the memory of time.”
Photo credit: Reuters
The appellate court stated in a unanimous decision that the cross is historic as much as it is religious and it is safe once more:
“As a matter of law, the record compels the conclusion that appellees’ actual purpose in displaying The Cross at Ground Zero has always been secular: to recount the history of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and their aftermath.” —Circuit Judge Reena Raggi
“Thus, the Establishment Clause is not properly construed to command that government accounts of history be devoid of religious references. Nor is a permissible secular purpose transformed into an impermissible religious one because the government makes an historical point with an artifact whose historical significance derives, in whole or in part, from its religious symbolism.” —General Court Ruling Documentation