The Anti-Defamation League said it supports the inclusion of the World Trade Center cross in the permanent memorial to 9/11 victims at Ground Zero.
The American Atheists organization, which advocates an “absolute separation” of government and religion, filed a lawsuit last month against including the cross-shaped steel beams in the permanent memorial to the victims of 9/11 in lower Manhattan.
The lawsuit claims the cross is unconstitutional and is a “mingling of church and state.”
The cross-shaped beams were found in the rubble at the site of the World Trade Center following the 9/11 attacks and were moved last month to a permanent location in the eight-square-acre memorial.
“Allowing this cross to be included in the memorial along with other artifacts found at the site does not constitute government endorsement of a religious message,” the ADL said in a statement. “Rather, it is an acknowledgement that these beams — part of the infrastructure of one of the towers — acquired historical significance by giving comfort to many who lost loved ones in the attacks, as well as those who spent days and weeks sifting through the ash and debris.