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Church Destroyed on 9/11 Erects Cross in Anticipation of Reopening Ceremony

  • Veronica Neffinger

    Veronica Neffinger wrote her first poem at age seven and went on to study English in college, focusing on 18th century literature. When she is not listening to baseball games, enjoying the…

  • 2016 Nov 29

The sole church destroyed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks is finally in the process of being rebuilt and was recently the focus of a cross-raising ceremony.

According to, St. Nicholas Orthodox Church and National Shrine was destroyed when the planes crashed into the Twin Towers on 9/11, but it is now being restored.

A cross was erected on top of the not-yet-finished church building.

Archbishop Demetrios of America blessed the cross with holy water as well as water from the National September 11 Memorial and Museum pools.

Two years ago, when work on the new church building began, Archbishop Demetrios recalled the horror and heartbreak of that day 13 years ago.

"Breathing a very heavy air, saturated with the dust of storm, wood, iron and with tiny particles of human bodies, we remember walking with heavy hearts to the specific place where our St. Nicholas stood as a building... The church was not there. We stood there frozen, paralysed, and cried."

The new building and cross, Demetrios said at the cross-raising ceremony, are a testament to “the triumph of human spirit and human mind that can overcome any tragedy. Saint Nicholas will offer us the presence of God in our lives and in our city. Here, at this spot, we raise the Cross, which is a symbol of sacrifice and victory, and we offer prayers for the continued construction process." 


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Publication date: November 29, 2016