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.