In September 2011, the Washington Post published a series of “9/11 memorials.” One of the memorials is “The Story of the Cross at Ground Zero“:
The shape was oddly identifiable in the blasted wreckage of the World Trade Center, standing upright amid beams bent like fork tines and jagged, pagan-seeming tridents. A grief-exhausted excavator named Frank Silecchia found it on Sept. 13, 2001, two days after the terrorist attacks.
A crossbeam is a beam that spans from one support to another in a in a structure or a building, so why is it so amazing that an excavator found 17-foot-long crossbeam among the debris of the World Trade Center?
“I never stood here before any media and said it’s about religion . . . But I say it’s about faith — the faith that was crushed on 9/11.”
However, Silecchia showed the beam to Father Brian Jordan, who decided that an piece of building material that remained intact despite the intensity of the attack was
God explaining Himself. It was a revelation, proof that “God had not abandoned Ground Zero,” even as the awful excavations continued.
A 17-foot-long crossbeam is God’s explanation? If so, what do “jagged, pagan-seeming tridents” explain? We shouldn’t even be asking these questions. A crossbeam is just a cross beam. It is not a “miracle” or a sign from the Christian God, nor should this impression be perpetuated by the media:
It was the towering charred steel beam shaped like a Christian cross that became a symbol of solace and hope after it was found jutting out of the smouldering debris of the World Trade Centre.
“are worried about the alienation being suffered by atheists. This cross screams Christianity, but there were perhaps 500 or 1,000 people who died in this tragedy who were not Christians.”
Equally worrying is the large proportion of gullible people who think a steel crossbeam mounted on a pedestal is a symbol of solace and hope or an explanation from a non-existent God.