Published July 29, 2011
There is no good reason at law or otherwise not to allow the steel beam in the shape of a cross to be placed in the museum at Ground Zero.
I speak as a member of the New York Bar, a Jew and a family member of a Nephew a first responder who was killed on 9/11 and who called himself a Christian. But, equally important, I speak as an American.
Thousands were killed and injured in the attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11. Victims were rich and poor; and they were of many colors, creeds and religions. The fact that in the rubble of that horrific site, some found solace in the ³miracle² of a cross appearing as a piece of steel is an act of faith that should be celebrated by believers and respected by those who are not.
The World Trade center Memorial should be a place to remember, reflect, and pray if you choose to the God of your choice, and to respect and be tolerant of those who perished there regardless of their religious persuasion.
The WTC 9/11 Memorial should stand for everything the perpetrators hated about usŠ. our freedom, our diversity, our tolerance, and our charity.
The fact is that those who were intolerant of religions other than their own was the ones who carried out the attacks on 9/11. Non-believers were considered infidels and not worthy of life and they took lives including their own in the name of religion.
Does it make sense to allow religious intolerance to be tolerated in the aftermath of 9/11 against those who were victims? No it clearly does not.
However, it does make sense that a fitting Memorial should contain and represent the iconic fixtures of the day of the attacks and its aftermath including a crushed NYFD Fire Truck, the WTC Flag Pole, Ash, and yes a Steel ³I² Beam in the shape of a Cross.
The Steel Cross is not being displayed to divide people. It is being displayed as a legitimate fixture of hope and love to a God I may not worship but one that I respect.
America was founded because of religious persecution. We are a tolerant people and ³political correctness² does not mean religious avoidance. The Congress of the United States begins each session with a prayer to God. Our currency contains the words, ³In God We Trust². For non-believers to fight against the rights of others to express themselves in appropriate and legitimate ways is just plain wrong and I dare say un-American.
I stand up for the right to display the ³Cross of Ground Zero² at the WTC Memorial as a legitimate and proper relic of the attacks on 9/11.
Bradley A. Blakeman served as deputy assistant to President George W. Bush from 2001-04. He is currently a professor of Politics and Public Policy at
Georgetown University and a frequent contributor to the Fox Forum.