His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America on Monday expressed confidence that the Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine at the World Trade Center will be completed before September 11 this year.
“It is an awesome responsibility and privilege to the Greek Orthodox Community, that our National Shrine would serve as a cenotaph for those who would engage it as such,” he added.
In a separate letter, Chairman Dennis Mehiel and Vice-Chairman Michael Psaros said that, despite the challenges of Covid-19, the rebuilding of the Church has continued unabated since the restart on site in August 2020.
“The complexity of this building cannot be overstated. The combination of light, stone (Pentelic Marble), and glass will result in an extraordinary glow on the exterior at night, and an ethereal translucence on the interior during the day. Combined with a full scale program of traditional Byzantine Iconography executed by one of the masters of Mount Athos, the Saint Nicholas Shrine will be a national and indeed, international, focal point for our Orthodox Christian Faith,” they said.
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, the worldwide leader of Orthodox Christianity, will also officiate the ceremony, which is scheduled to take place on November 2.
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.