Construction on the new Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine at the World Trade Center in New York City, will resume on Monday.
“Monday’s going to be a very emotional day. A powerful day,” said Michael Psaros, Vice chairman of The Friends of St. Nicholas told The New York Post.
“Another powerful symbol to the world of the resurrection of all of Ground Zero and New York City, he added.
On 9/11 in 2001, two planes flew into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, tragically killing 2,977 innocent people, including 37 Greek Americans.
As the Twin Towers horrifically collapsed from the impact, St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Manhattan was also buried. St. Nicholas was the only other building besides the Twin Towers completely destroyed during the 9/11 terrorist attack.
Saint Nicholas Church, which commenced services in 1922, was named after Agios Nikolaos, Patron Saint of Sailors, as it was the first stopping point for many Greek migrants after they left Ellis Island, the United States’ busiest migrant inspection station. For 85 years, the Saint Nicholas Church stood at 155 Cedar St, New York City, until the shocking terrorist attack occurred.
Construction was set to resume in the spring, then COVID hit, grounding all non-essential projects statewide to a halt for months.
It will begin once again on Monday when a crane lowers the first skylight into the church’s dome, in a ceremony presided over by Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York and His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America.
“Finally, the only House of God destroyed on Sept. 11 will be completed and open to all people, on the twentieth anniversary of that fateful and horrific day,” said Archbishop Elpidophoros. “We look forward to welcoming New Yorkers and the entire world to this sacred space dedicated to memory, faith, and freedom.”
“We will never forget the innocents who unjustly perished that day, and all the heroes and their families who gave the last full measure of courage and love for their fellow human beings. Saint Nicholas will remember, and will be a sign of hope for all people," His Eminence added.
The aim is to have the new St. Nicholas open on September 11, 2021 — the 20th anniversary of the attacks — to offer comfort to New Yorkers of all faiths.
The church will include a non-denominational bereavement center in which any so moved can remember those lost.
Earlier this year, renowned CBS news program, 60 Minutes, showcased the rebuilding of the Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine at the World Trade Center in New York City.