NEW YORK - A federal appeals court has rejected a lawsuit by an atheist group seeking to stop the display of a cross-shaped steel beam found among the World Trade Center's wreckage.

The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals last week sided with a federal judge's ruling last year that the decision to include the beam in the National September 11 Memorial & Museum did not advance religion impermissibly.

American Atheists had sued the museum's operators in 2011 on constitutional grounds. The group says it is disappointed in the decision.

The 17-foot-tall steel beam was found by rescue workers two days after the 2001 terror attacks destroyed the World Trade Center.