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Atheists Want the ‘Miracle Cross’ Removed from 9-11 Memorial [VIDEO + POLL]

Steel Beam Cross at Ground Zero
Mario Tama, Getty Images

First of all, I must start out by saying that this story is very personal to me. I was in New York City on top of the World Trade Center observation deck two weeks to the day before the horrific 9-11 tragedy.

I was vacationing with my parents and husband, and we marveled at the view of the city from the top of those beautiful towers. My family has been back several times since 9-11 to visit the site.

Atheists are complaining that a cross made from steel beams recovered from the World Trade Center “causes mental anguish” and should not be a part of the the new National September 11 Memorial and Museum.

The group, American Atheists, says the cross is a part of religious history and its presence on public property violates the separation of church and state.

The steel beam cross known as the  “Miracle Cross” or “Ground Zero Cross,” was found by construction worker Frank Silecchia, who said on NBC’s “Today” show that the cross comforted him. It instantly became a beloved image for first responders and is already in the new museum that is set to open for the public in May.

Here’s what Frank Silecchia told “Today:”

“I was already working 12 hours. I was quite weary and the cross comforted me. I never stood here before any media and said it’s about religion. But I say it’s about faith — the faith that was crushed on 9/11.”

Edwin Kagin, American Atheists legal director, had this to say to the Washington Times:

“The overwhelming impression of this cross is religious. We are worried about the alienation being suffered by atheists. This cross screams Christianity, but there were perhaps 500 or 1,000 people who died in this tragedy who were not Christians.

The museum’s representative, Mark Alcott, told the newspaper that the curators placed the cross in the museum because they believed it was a part of history.

The group is now suing for the cross to be removed. The appeals court is expected to make a decision in several months.

This, of course, has stirred up a lot of emotions, from both sides. Stephen Colbert even weighed in on the debate. Watch the video than take the poll below to let us know what you think, East Texas.

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