Image: Steel beam cross
Bebeto Matthews  /  AP
As viewed through a fence, a giant American flag flies in the wind behind a steel beam cross at ground zero of the World Trade Center site in New York, Thursday Oct. 5.
updated 10/5/2006 11:57:23 AM ET 2006-10-05T15:57:23

Workers on Thursday began removing the cross-shaped steel beams that were left standing in the rubble of the World Trade Center five years ago, and prepared to move them to a temporary home at a nearby church.

The 20-foot-tall artifact was discovered in the smoking ruins two weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and became a symbol for recovery workers, family and later construction crews at the site.

It will be moved to the exterior wall of nearby St. Peter’s Church during construction at the trade center site. The World Trade Center Memorial Foundation has said it plans to include the cross as part of its memorial or inside the Sept. 11 museum.

The steel beams were once part of World Trade Center 6, one of the smaller buildings in the 16-acre complex.

“We are all anxious for some type of God’s presence,” said the Rev. Brian Jordan, who dedicated it.

The World Trade Center site is being excavated to make way for construction of the planned 1,776-foot-tall Freedom Tower, museum and other office buildings.

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