Good wins out as cross remains at memorial

One for the good guys that’s the way I see it. After reading story after story of governmental rulings fraught with error, controversy and/or sometimes downright stupidity, in my humble opinion, I read, with much happiness, of a win for the greater good this week.

I refer to the decision by a federal appeals court to cast down a lawsuit filed by a group of atheists who had challenged the display of the “Cross at Ground Zero” at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.

According to a national news outlet, a three-judge panel of the Second Circuit Court ruled on Monday that the cross recovered from the rubble of the World Trade Center was more of a “genuine historical artifact” than a symbol of Christianity.

Well, I’m not sure I agree with all that. I mean, how could anyone deny that, amid all that death, devastation, chaos, loss and plain old evil, the single most visible sign of hope to emerge from the unimaginable scene was a simple, perfect cross?

Really? The only salvageable article left standing at the epicenter of all that destruction just so happened to be the one representing man’s eternal salvation – and that’s merely a historical artifact or a coincidence?

Hmm. I can almost hear the Almighty sighing.

Anyway, that trio of judges noted that the cross – comprising a 17-foot steel column and a crossbeam – was a “symbol of hope and healing for all persons” in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy.

Well, alrighty then. Now we’re getting somewhere. Finally, a bit of common sense spilling forth from one of the most ridiculous cases to ever be heard in these United States.

My point is this: People, why did it take an almost literal act of Congress for the most inspirational icon of hopefulness to arise from the ashes of the World Trade Center rubble to be allowed to remain in the official 9/11 memorial?

I think I’m voicing the opinion of faith-filled people everywhere – not just Christians but those of many others subscribing to various organized religions and walks of life – when I say that I’ve had it with all the time, resources and frankly breath wasted on having to defend what is right to those who believe in nothing at all.

I’m pretty sure one of them was clucking his tongue in disgust at me as I silently prayed the rosary while passing the time waiting for Kyle’s event at his swim meet last week. Seriously, dude my prayer is offensive to you? Au contraire. Your intolerance of my God and First Amendment given rights is reprehensible – and really ticks me off.

Atheists, kindly hear me: Your absence of faith is sad and troubling but I’ll be damned if it will ever, ever stop my prayers – even the ones I say for you. So, why don’t you stuff a sock in it, already?

You bet your sweet bippy I was thrilled about this week’s ruling to leave the 9/11 miracle cross in its rightful place.

And, perhaps the ironworker who initially found the cross in the wreckage of the twin towers two days after the 2001 attacks, Frank Silecchia, now 60, said it best when he said this about the ruling: “Faith won over atheism I’m kind of proud because that was my initial goal: To help ease the burden of humanity. All I can do is thank God for answering my prayer.”

Amen, Mr. Silecchia, Amen.

Kimerer is a Tribune Chronicle columnist who can be reached at for comments about how she proudly wears her late Nonna’s cross ring on her right hand every day of her life. She also wants to send a special birthday greeting to her goddaughter Kelly, who always reads her column all the way to the end. Happy birthday, Kels!