On this day in 2001, two planes flew into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. As the buildings collapsed from the impact, the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church was buried.
The building that came to house the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church was built in 1832. Originally built as a private dwelling, it was turned into a tavern and later a church in 1919 when five greek immigrant families raised US $25,000 to buy the tavern.
The church which commenced services in 1922 was named after the patron saint of sailors, as it was the first stopping point for many Greek immigrants after they left Ellis Island, the United States’ busiest immigrant inspection station.
For 85 years, the St. Nicholas Church stood at 155 Cedar St, New York City, before the most shocking terrorist attack happened, changing America and the world forever.
No one was inside the church during the September 11 attack, as a committee member and electrician were able to escape minutes before
the south tower came crashing down destroying the church.
Amongst the rumble, only a little bit remained of the church including the damaged icon of St. Dionysios of Zakynthos, the icon of The Mother of God of the Life-giving Spring and a small handful of other religious items. The church’s most valuable physical possessions, including the relics of St Nicholas, St Catherine, and St Sava which had been donated to the church by Nicholas II, the last tsar of Russia, were never recovered after the attack.
A devastating number of 2,753 people were killed in the 9/11 attack, including 36 Greek-Americans.
On the 17th anniversary, we remember those who lost their lives in the tragedy.