The godless group, the American Atheists, argues that the cross cut into the steel beam that makes up the memorial is “grossly offensive” to non-Christians and would “alienate many people” if allowed on public property. Instead the group is proposing that the beam be placed in a “free speech zone” in the city, where non-religious individuals would be allowed to erect their own supposed memorials to those who died in the terrorist attack.
Nine individuals from Princeton perished in the attack that destroyed the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Princeton's Deputy Fire Chief, Roy James, arranged to have the 10-foot length of twisted steel beam from the Twin Towers wreckage moved to the city and was working with city officials to have it erected as a memorial on city property. The beam includes the cross-shaped hole that was cut in it by welders during the recovery efforts following the attack. According to the Christian Post, welders cutting up the beams “cut small crosses from many of the beams found in the wreckage from the World Trade Center, and placed them on the stretchers of fallen firefighters and police officers as their bodies were removed from the site to honor them and their sacrifice.”
James told a local TV news team that “we didn't take this piece of steel and carve out the cross ourselves. We didn't ask for it to be there. This is the way this steel came to us.” He added, however that “as a Jew, it doesn't bother me.”
Predictably, however, it does bother the atheist group, which promised to take legal action against the city if it went ahead with erecting the memorial on city property.
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