Could the 9/11 Memorial on Firefighter Scott Townley's Front Yard in Fullerton Offend Some?

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More power to Orange County Fire Authority firefighter Scott Townley, whose front yard in Fullerton becomes an annual memorial to 2,977 people who perished in the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, including 343 New York City firefighters.

But part of the display, which includes crosses, American flags and a scroll of names, could be offensive to the families of some victims.

As KTLA/Channel 5's Lynette Romero reported this morning, the display has American flags dotting one side of Townley's green lawn. Scrawled onto each are the names of civilian victims of 9/11. The other side of the lawn displays white crosses with names written on them as well.

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"Each cross represents one of the firefighters, the police and the Port Authority officers," Townley reportedly said of this year's version of the memorial he has displayed annually since 2001. He went on to explain each person named on the markers "has a special connection to me--especially the firefighters, because I have a special connection to them, from the West Coast to the East Coast."

Setting aside late, great comedian Bill Hicks' joke about Jesus Christ possibly being offended if he came back to find the wood planks he was nailed to being so ubiquitous as if to mock his death, one ... uh ... prays Townley knows the spiritual beliefs of each first responder honored on a cross.

The cross is widely mis-viewed as the international symbol of death and honoring the deceased. It's actually the international symbol of Christian death and honoring the Christian deceased. If Townley only includes the names of known Christians on crosses, fine. If not, some might have a problem.

But no one would question Townley's heart is in the right place.

Email: mcoker@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!



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