Saturday, March 6, 2010

The World Trade Center Cross

The World Trade Center Cross, also known as The Ground Zero Cross, is composed of cross shaped steel beams, and was found amidst the debris of the World Trade Center, following the September 11, 2001 attacks, by a rescue/recovery worker named Frank Silecchia.  It quickly became a symbol of hope, faith and healing, with construction workers, firefighters, police officers and family members holding weekly Sunday services under the cross in its initial location at Ground Zero.

This sign is at the base of the cross.

This official identifying sign from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is located next to the cross -- click on photo to enlarge it to read detail.

After its discovery, the 2-ton, 20 foot high World Trade Center Cross was erected on top of a concrete pedestal and stood during the recovery and initial rebuilding of the World Trade Center site, but it had to be removed in 2006 during reconstruction of the PATH train portal.  Instead of being placed in storage it has been temporarily placed on the Church Street side of Old Saint Peter's Roman Catholic Church, between Barclay and Vesey Streets, in lower Manhattan.

Old Saint Peter's is the oldest Roman Catholic parish in New York City and New York State. The original church's cornerstone was laid in 1785. The cornerstone of the present Greek Revival granite building, with six Ionic columns, was laid in 1836. In 1965, St. Peter's was designated by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.

St. Peter's Church once stood in the shadows of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, was strongly affected by the 9/11 disasters and was directly involved in rescue activities for some weeks and months to follow. The body of Father Mychal Judge, the Franciscan fire chaplain who was one of the first responders killed by falling debris in the lobby of the North Tower, was carried into St. Peter's Church and reverently placed before the altar during the initial chaos of the day. Go to this link if you would like to read more about how the church was evolved in the events of September 11.


Eventually, The World Trade Center Cross will become part of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum at The World Trade Center.  In my next blog post I will show the present progress of the rebuilding at Ground Zero.



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32 comments:

Betsy from Tennessee said...

HI Pat, Have you blogged about what happened in your life on 9/11/01??? I may have missed that post since I'm fairly new to your blog. What a horrible event for our country--and I'm sure, much worse for those of you who lived nearby. Did you know anyone killed in that tragedy?

Great pictures today..
Hugs,
Betsy

Claudia said...

That cross has always been an inspiration to me. Having lost someone and having others in the building - who did get out -I get choked up at the mention of the date. It is thing of hope and beauty.

Annesphamily said...

What a lovely post. I am very honored to stop by today and read this post. Thanks for sharing.

Cynthia K. said...

Hi there ~ What an interesting post about this church and especially the cross - simply awesome. This cross is so very meaningful and I'm so pleased that it is being taken care of and displayed.

This cross had a tiny mention in my very first post which was on Sept. 11 last year. The post is entirely about about the 9/11 attack - I received lots of good comments on it so you might want to read it. I do believe it is my very best post...

Cynthia K. (Beauty and Blessings)

Joanne Kennedy said...

I wondered what happened to that cross. I'm so happy you wrote this post so we can all know it is still around.

I was looking for that church when I was in NY and couldn't find it so I'm thrilled to know where it stands.

Being raised a Catholic and having my family being Catholic for many many years back I wanted to go there. I know my parents had been there and so was my grandparents and most likely their parents.

I was sad when I couldn't find it. I didn't know the name so I couldn't even ask for it.

Hugs,
Joanne

Old Kitty said...

Hi

Thanks for the link to the 9/11 memorial site. I like that the planned future for that are is going to include a really intimate area for remembrance amidst the planned skyscrapers. I think it's really important to have these after that horrific time.

It'll be a proper home for that amazing cross sculpture. Such a potent symbol really isn't it? It's simple and effective and very powerful.

And thank you for that amazing glimpse of that church. New York has such history! A church started in 1789 and still going strong and still a pivotal part of the community. Excellent and perfect for today, Sunday!

Beautiful and very vivid pics as always.

Take care
x

Melanie said...

I'm glad that the cross which meant so much at a time of turmoil is going to have a proper home. I hope it will be accessible at all hours for those who still want to see it rather than people being confined to museum hours. It sounds like it meant so much to so many.

Trotter said...

Hi Pat! Look forward to seeing how reconstruction is going on; it seems to have taken already too much time...

Blogtrotter 2 has moved to the Reggae Land. Enjoy and have a great week ahead!!

Catherine said...

Thanks for this post Pat and can`t wait to see your next pictures.

Allie and Pattie said...

Oh, Pat. Ray was in lower Manhattan that day and my son was at the Trade Center. I will NEVER forget the fear in my heart that day. We attended 14 funerals for family friends over the next 2 weeks.
Thank you for this post
xoxo Pattie

Annalisa said...

A touching post. It indeed brings us closer to you all. A very wonderful post, with great pics, thanks for sharing it with us.
Love,
Annalisa

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Pat - Thanks for letting us know what happened to the cross. I always wondered where it ended it. What a horrible day that was. I will never forget it.

Jojo said...

Thank you for a great post. Looking forward to part two.

CatHerder said...

wow....i will never forget how i felt that day..i will never forget us breaking out whiskey in the morning at work and drinking at our desks glued to the tv...i will never forget the feeling not knowing if my brother in law who worked a block away was ok (he was actually on a business trip to boston we found out later), i will never forget the feeling in the pit of my stomach that my kids were on lockdown in their schools and my husband was an hour away..and i will never forget the sight of the smoke rising directly in front of me on my drive home from work, and the bomb squad trucks all over the roads....it was just surreal and something i hope i never see again...so i say in this public forum ...after ALL OF THIS....a civil trial for monsters like this?? i think not..shame on you America

Tara said...

Hi Pat:

When we were in the recent recently, I stopped in the St Francis of Assisi church on 7th and 31St...it has a piece of the towers in it in memory of the priest who died in 9-11 whose name is currently escaping my mind!! Argh!

This day is still so fresh in our minds, right? So many people who we knew whose lives were effected, including our own! I think friends of mine who were involved and survived are really just coming around to healing.

Laura in Paris said...

What a blow for the Western world. A true tragedy.

steviewren said...

Pat, I'm touched by the memories of that day and the One who gives the world hope that this cross symbolizes. Thanks for the reminder.

Barb said...

May we never forget and have hope....Barb

Tracy said...

Oh, that cross makes me cry... I do hope they will save in as part of the new planning. I will interesting to see all they do and continue to do to make it a memorial to what happened--a place to go and be and pray...Thanks for this special post, Pat. Hope you are having a good weekend, my friend :o) ((HUGS))

The Muse said...

my heart sinks...
my heart soars...

amazing how one event can be so impactful on both ends of our emotional and spiritual spectrum!

a powerful post...powerful indeed.

Vee said...

I'm so glad that the 9/11 cross was not put in storage. That was somebody's very good idea to continue to display it. Thanks for another wonderful post, Pat!

Helen said...

Dear Pat, the last time my son and I visited NYC, we made Ground Zero a priority. The cross conjures up so many emotions ... thanks for sharing.

annie said...

Many of us in the NJ/NY area lost friends and relatives that day.
Such sadness but, Americans are survivors and have great hearts.
9 11 showed that NYC has one of the biggest hearts of all.

myletterstoemily said...

thank you for sharing some of the postscripts
and sweet memorials for the heroes and victims.

we were in new york two months after the
bombing, and i was standing behind a very
agitated woman. she kept grumbling and
complaining, and so i just asked if there
was anything i could do to help her.

she broke down in tears to say that she just
felt so guilty standing in a bloomingdale's
line to shop for Christmas gifts, while her
own brother had died in the bombing.

it was a great revelation to my young
children to not judge a book by its cover.

blessings,
lea

Junie Moon said...

I don't know how I've missed it, but I had not heard about this cross before. What a lovely idea although a tragic reason. Thanks for sharing this with us!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

Very interesting. You've shown us things about this area that we would not usually see or know about. Thank you! ♥

Queenmothermamaw said...

Oh Pat this was so amazing to see. I had not heard of this cross. I am so glad it will be put in a place of honor. Blessings
QMM

Kathleen said...

I can never forget that day..as long as I live...

Cindy said...

This is a very touching post. I can't ever think about that day without tears.

Nola @ the Alamo said...

The Ground Zero Cross is awesome. Even though it happened in New York, it touched us all. It is the Pearl Harbor of our generation, we will always remember where we were when we heard what had happened.

Carol Conway-Fleisher said...

wow. What a touching post. I've never been to NYC but I hope to some day. The cross has always brought me hope. I will never forget 9/11 as long as I live. I was on Ft. Hood when it happened. You can read about it here:
http://fleisherfamilyfun.blogspot.com/2009/09/remembering-9-11.html
Thanks for stopping by my blog.

PEA said...

I so remember seeing that cross in the news coverage when it was pulled out. I'm so glad that it was kept and will be on display at the memorial museum. I can well imagine how much that cross meant to everyone that was there during the tragedy. I must now go read more about that church!! xoxo