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S.I. Congressman Wants WTC Steel Cross To Be National Monument

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- A Staten Island congressman has proposed legislation that would make the Sept. 11 cross-shaped steel beam a national monument.

Rep. Michael Grimm said he was pushing for protective status for the 20-foot steel cross that was found amid the ruins of the World Trade Center site.

"The focus and goal of my legislation will be to make the cross a national monument. Therefore, once and for all, putting an end to whether the cross should be part of 9/11, whether it shouldn't," Grimm told 1010 WINS.

The proposed legislation was in response to a lawsuit filed by the American Atheists, according to Grimm. The group argues that a "Christian icon" should not be included in the 9/11 memorial museum, slated to open next year.

Grimm called the group's opposition reprehensible and said the cross was "so much more than a symbol of Christianity."

"It is part of the story of what everyone went through during 9/11," he said.

The congressman from New York's 13th congressional district, said that the iron beams need to be memorialized because they "were a symbol of hope and comfort for so many enduring such a horrific time in our history."

Do you think the steel cross should be made a national monument? Share your thoughts in the comments section...

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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