Can a country of Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, Unitarians, Wiccans, Pagans, Native Americans, Agnostics and atheists view a cross as a national symbol? That’s the question New Yorkers will soon have to answer.

Staten Island Representative Michael Grimm wants to make the so-called World Trade Center cross a national monument and secure its place in the September 11 Memorial & Museum. He said the interlocking 17-foot steel beams, which were found in the basement rubble of 6 World Trade Center, comfort those left behind by the terror attacks.

“This cross was a symbol of hope and freedom at a time when New Yorkers were coping with loss and destruction in the aftermath of the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil,” said Grimm.

In July, the American Atheists filed suit to block the cross installation at the 9/11 museum, saying the Christian icon will be the only religious article receiving special accommodation.

“This was an attack against America: not Christianity. Christianity does not deserve special placement just because the girders look like their religious symbol,” Dave Silverman, president of American Atheists, said.

For the past several years, the cross has been housed at St. Peter’s Church. In July, it was moved to the museum after receiving a ceremonial blessing from Father Brian Jordan.

[The Staten Island Advance]