The bad news at ground zero today: The site has temporarily lost its only existing memorial, an eighteen-foot-tall cross made out of WTC beams. The good news: Officials are moving it because it’s in the way of construction. Repeat: They’re moving it for construction.
The cross, which was found fully formed by first responders on September 13, 2001, is a familiar sight. Though multiple parties have argued every detail — from acreage to font size — of the World Trade memorial-to-be, the cross has been quietly serving as the focal point of ground zero. It will now be stowed at St. Peter’s Church, three blocks away, rather than in a JFK hangar, as the always-sensible Port Authority first proposed.
The move was executed with all the expected pomp (“God Bless America” performed? Check), but it raises a question: Exactly what construction was the cross getting in the way of? The Times avoids the subject entirely. We’d hazard a guess, considering the cross’s former placement, that it has something to do with the new PATH station. Perhaps they should have moved it a couple of hundred feet west, to the Freedom Tower site. It wouldn’t be in anyone’s way there for quite a while.