(New York, New York, United States) – Amidst all the construction related to rebuilding the church, the cross at the Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine at Ground Zero has been placed at the top of the dome. Before it was placed on the top, however, it was blessed by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America. Besides the bystanders, there were several officials who were in attendance of this ceremony including officials from the Port Authority and SKANSKA and the Consul General of Greece. Those who donated to rebuilding the church were also in attendance.
During September 11, 2001, Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church was the only religious building that was destroyed during the attacks of September 11. There have been many attempts to rebuild the church and the first one, which took place in 2008, fell through. In 2010, efforts to rebuild were renewed and fundraising efforts began in earnest. Construction for the church finally began and is currently underway. There have been a few fundraising efforts for the rebuild of the church and one of the most recent took place in September of 2016. The church will also include a shrine that is intended as a September 11 memorial so that people of all faiths could have a place to rest in quiet contemplation, independent of the church community.
The original church was built in 1916 by Greek immigrants and as soon as it was built, it had become an important part of the Greek community in the area. September 11 changed that and the community has felt the loss of their church. The original church was completely destroyed during the attacks, which means that construction for the new church needed to start from scratch. The cross is a temporary one and the permanent church will be placed on the church after the project is finished.