Cross Purposes

Claim:   Clean-up workers at the World Trade Center found two metal beams in the shape of a cross.

Status:   True.

Origins:   That Cross many people turn (and return) to religion in times of crisis is a common facet of human behavior. Attendance at churches (and other houses of worship) soars as we seek answers, reassurance, and comfort — items which religion provides in great abundance. We also look for tangible signs of our religious beliefs, a phenomenon which has already popped up in several tales stemming from the September 11 terrorrist attacks on America, such as the finding of the face of Satan in smoke from the World Trade Center, and the story of an unburned Bible having been discovered amidst the charred wreckage of the Pentagon.

In a similar vein, a cross formed from two metal beams was reported found "standing almost upright" at the World Trade Center site a couple of days after the September 11 attacks, having fallen from one of the WTC towers onto an adjacent building:
A cast iron "cross'' found in the rubble of the World Trade Center has been adopted by rescue workers as a symbol of faith ...

Laborer Frank Silecchia, 47, found the cross standing almost upright two days after the towers toppled Sept. 11.

"Some people will say it's velocity or physics that put it there. To me it's an act of God,'' said Silecchia, who cried for 20 minutes after his discovery.
On October 3, workers placed the cross atop a 40-foot foundation so that it could more easily be seen by everyone in the area, and it has since been blessed with holy water by a Franciscan priest and adopted by construction and rescue workers as "a symbol of hope, our symbol of faith, our symbol of healing.''

Last updated:   8 March 2008

  Sources Sources:
    McCaffrey, Shannon.   "Iron 'Cross' Found at Ground Zero."
    Associated Press.   8 October 2001.