The Reporter covers Miller, Morgan and Camden County in Central Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks and is published once per week on Wednesdays.


Published November 28, 2018

The real World Trade Center Cross

CAMDEN COUNTY – The Painting in the Camden County Courthouse of the cross on a pedestal is a visual representation of the real World Trade Center Cross in New York City.

The World Trade Center cross, also known as the Ground Zero cross, is made up of steel beams that were found amid the ruins of the World Trade Center after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

The intact cross beam, later found in 6 World Trade Center’s debris, is believed to have come from the North Tower and was discovered by a worker, Frank Silecchia, on September 13, 2001.

The cross stayed at the site for several weeks until it got in the way and Silecchia and others (working on the cleanup) received an expedited approval from the office of New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani to erect it on a pedestal on a portion of the former plaza on Church Street near Liberty.

It was moved by crane on October 3 and installed on October 4.

The cross had several locations over the years but was finally moved on July 23, 2011, back to Ground Zero and lowered into the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York.

The memorial is located at the World Trade Center site, the former location of the Twin Towers and is operated by a non-profit institution whose mission is to raise funds for, program, and operate the memorial and museum at the World Trade Center site. 

The cross has received flack from atheist groups but they have so far been unable to win their cases.

In 2013, U.S. District Judge Deborah Batts concluded that the 17-foot-high cross, which became a spiritual symbol for workers at ground zero, does not amount to an endorsement of Christianity.

In late July 2014, in dismissing a lawsuit filed by the dissenting atheists who did not want the cross displayed at the memorial, the 2nd U.S. Circuit ruled that, being “a symbol of hope” and “historical in nature”, the steel beams “did not intentionally discriminate” against the atheists.

The cross depicted in the painting at the courthouse is a painting of the historical symbol that is on display in New York which has been ruled legal buy various judges.

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