NEW YORK — Shining bright up to the heavens, alongside the 9/11 Tribute in Light, is the Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine.
For the first time, the newly constructed church was illuminated Friday evening to honor the lives lost on September 11th and the many lives lost since:
Shining bright up to the heavens, next to the 9/11 Tribute in Light, St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine is illuminated for the first time on the eve of the attacks. @NY1 pic.twitter.com/GO7OU8BX4e— Alyssa Paolicelli (@APaolicelli17) September 11, 2021
“It seems like yesterday. It’s just one day at a time, but it does seem like time never marches on,” explained Zoey Kousoulis, whose daughter was one of the nearly 3,000 people killed 20 years ago on September 11th.
What You Need To Know
- For the first time, the exterior of the new St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine was illuminated to honor the lives lost on September 11th and the many lives lost since
- The old St. Nicholas Church was the only religious building destroyed on 9/11
- The new building will continue to serve the Greek Orthodox community, but inside there will be a separate space for meditation and reflection for people of all faiths
- After two decades and many setbacks, the church is expected to full open in spring 2022
Danielle Kousoulis, 29, was a bond trader who worked on the 104th floor of the North Tower. Her family said during her time working at the World Trade Center, Danielle would go in and light a candle inside Saint Nicholas Orthodox Church. The site is sacred for her family.
“It’s somewhere where you can come and remember and pray,” Kousoulis said.
The old Saint Nicholas church was the only religious building destroyed on 9/11. After 20 years of financial and bureaucratic setbacks, the ceremony on the eve of the anniversary of the terror attacks marks a major milestone in the project, which is now set to be complete by spring of next year.
“This shrine stands before you today to tell to the world that light will always shine on through the darkness, and the darkness will never overcome it,” Archbishop Elpidophoros, of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, said at the ceremony.
The church will continue to serve the Greek Orthodox community, but inside there will be a separate space for meditation and reflection for people of all faiths.
“This place belongs to all Americans, no matter what is their faith or denomination,” Elpidophoros said. “They can come here and pray for all Americans that were lost here.”
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