Despite Atheists' Best Efforts, the Ground Zero Cross Can Stay at the 9/11 Museum

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The cross in its new home at the 9/11 Museum.
The 17-foot-high, 4,000 pound cross fashioned from a column and a cross-beam recovered from the wreckage of the World Trade Center can stay at its new home at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, a federal appeals court has ruled. The decision brings an end to a lawsuit from the American Atheists, who in 2011 sued a whole bunch of people and agencies, including New York City, the Port Authority and former Mayor Michael Bloomberg over the cross, which they argued was an illegal religious monument in a government-funded museum.

The American Atheists' lawsuit was already
dismissed by a federal judge in 2013. But they appealed that decision to the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals, who ruled yesterday that no, really, the cross can stay.


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9/11 Families Blast Plan to Subsidize Ground Zero Memorial With Yet More Government Handouts

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A group of 9/11 families blasted yesterday a plan to have government pay even more for the 9/11 Memorial/Museum, saying the public has "been held hostage by the museum's irresponsibility, unaccountability and uncontrolled spending of public dollars."

"The Port Authority should not hand over any additional funding to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum operators," said Jim Riches, the chairman of 9/11 Parents and Families of Firefighters and WTC Victims. "We agree with the Governor's statement that: "the toll-payer is not an endless, bottomless well for government to dip into to cure their incompetence."

Asking commuters to "pony up even more toll money" is unacceptable, they said, calling the museum the most expensive in the world. "They do not deserve a bailout from taxpayers," Riches said.

9/11 Memorial Spells Victim's Name Wrong

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Jeffrey Schreier, a victim of the September 11 attacks who worked at Cantor Fitzgerald, had his name inscribed, along with the names of the 2,982 other victims, in the bronze memorial at Ground Zero. His family went there on Sunday to pay respects and grieve, located his name . . . and found it spelled wrong, "Jeffery" instead of "Jeffrey." They, quite reasonably, were not happy -- "Jeffery"?

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Ten Years After the Fact, NYC Medical Examiner Identifies 1,629th Victim of 9/11

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Today in amazing things science can do: the NYC Medical Examiner's office has managed to identify the 1,629th victim of the September 11th attacks, 10 years later. Remains found at Ground Zero have been linked to 40-year-old Harlem resident Ernest James, an IT professional at Marsh & McLennan who died that day.

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9/11 Families Sue City Over Plans To Put Remains At Museum

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A group of 9/11 family members are suing the city, demanding that they turn over the complete contact list for all relatives of people killed in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.

The lawsuit, filed this week, is the latest part of a dispute between some family groups and the 9/11 memorial/museum complex over how that institution will locate remains of the dead. The family members want the list so they can ask each relative what they think of the plan to inter them at the September 11 Memorial and Museum.

One of the plaintiffs, Sally Regenhard, who lost her firefighter son Christian in the attacks, claims that neither the city nor the Sept. 11 memorial consulted her or other families about a plan to place the remains "70 feet below ground at the museum." "I believe it is dishonorable, disrespectful and inappropriate to place the remains in a private museum with an entrance fee," she says in an affidavit.


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City Not Budging On Ban on 9/11 Survivors at Ground Zero Commemoration

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It was reported last week that members of the World Trade Center Survivors' Network, who had previously been allowed at the annual commemoration of the tragedy, would not be allowed to attend the 2011 ceremony at Ground Zero. (Nor, for that matter, would any other survivors.) Despite public outcry, city officials have not changed their position.

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President Obama Visits Ground Zero: A Report from the Scene

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More photos by C. S. Muncy
It was a brilliantly sunny day in Lower Manhattan when President Obama visited Ground Zero around lunchtime. It wasn't as cloudless as September 11th, 2001, but the similarity was uncanny enough to make many of the reporters waiting on line comment about how alike the two days felt.

If you hadn't been within the 16 acre site where the World Trade Center once stood in the last decade -- as few have who aren't construction workers or members of law enforcement -- the stillness was extraordinary. It's especially unsettling when you reflect upon how noisy it was during the wee hours of Monday morning and how loud it would get when the armada of security surrounding the President arrived.

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Osama Bin Laden Is Dead: Reports From Ground Zero This Morning [UPDATED]

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Photos by Steven Thrasher
It was quiet and foggy at Ground Zero this morning -- the first New York had woken up to knowing Osama Bin Laden was dead -- but not entirely silent. By 5:30 a.m., the impromptu all night party was still going on in pockets, most noticeably in front of the 9/11 Memorial storefront preview space. But the party had turned into the same drunken dawn scene you might find outside of an Irish pub in the wee hours on March 18, or in Times Square any January 1. Only the hardcore dregs were left, and they weren't exactly painting representing American patriotism in the best light. (When one man tried to work a plug for his website into an interview, it was apparent that Ground Zero right now is an irresistible magnet for some as a viral marketing opportunity and a chance to be on TV.)

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Crowds Celebrate Osama Bin Laden's Death At Ground Zero And In Times Square

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Unless you've been hiding under a rock all night, you'll have heard that Osama Bin Laden was killed yesterday in Pakistan by American forces. As of the last few hours, huge crowds have gathered at New York City's Ground Zero and in Times Square to celebrate the news. We've been in contact with sources on the ground, as well as our very own Francesca Stabile, who posted this video of the crowd singing the national anthem:

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"Ground Zero Mosque" Loses New Imam Already

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The so-called "Ground Zero Mosque" is once again without an imam, as Sheik Abdallah Adhami, who took over only weeks ago as the leader of Park51, the Islamic community center and mosque in Lower Manhattan, announced he would not be sticking around. Just last month, the site's developer Sharif el-Gamal replaced Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, who himself went on to say that he would be fine building the center at another location. "Imam Feisal has no authority or control over this project, over its board of directors or over Soho Properties, which controls the real estate," said the developer at the time. "Park51, the Islamic community center in Lower Manhattan, is more than any one personality or imam." Next!

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