Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Cross at Ground Zero

The plaque reads:
The Cross at Ground Zero

Founded Sept. 13, 2001
Blessed Oct. 4, 2001
Temporarily Relocated
Oct. 15, 2006
Will return to WTC Museum
A sign of comfort for ALL

Following the attacks, a massive operation was launched to find survivors among the rubble and clear away debris.
On September 13th Frank Silecchia, a worker at Ground Zero, discovered this 20 foot cross amidst the destruction of 6 World Trade Center.
However, it was not simply a cross remaining from the wreckage of building 6. 
It was a cross of beams from 1 World Trade Center that had crashed into building 6 as building 1 crumbled to the ground.
Those who participated in the rescue and clean-up efforts at site used it as a place of prayer and remembrance.
Firefighters, police officers, construction workers and family members started holding weekly Sunday services at the site.
The names of police officers and firefighters who sacrificed their lives on 9/11 were scribbled on the cross, along with the phrase, "God Bless Our Fallen Brothers." 
When it began to hinder further operations, Silecchia and other workers received approval from the office of New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani to move it to the former plaza on Church Street near Liberty. 
It remained there on a pedestal until October 5th, 2006, when it was relocated to St. Peter's. It sits on the Church Street side of the building, between Barclay and Vesey Streets.
Many families of the victims would like the cross to be included in the World Trade Center Memorial. 
Other organizations, including American Atheists and the Coalition for Jewish Concerns, disagree.

I took this picture on April 3rd, 2008, after Nate and I had the opportunity to walk through Ground Zero.
(You can see more photos from that beyond-words experience here.)

It was a moving moment.
Even in the midst of our greatest tragedies, God is there to comfort and walk with us.
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