The Greek Orthodox Church of St. Nicholas in New York, which was destroyed in the terrorist attacks September 11, 2001, It will be held for the first time after 20 years of operation, as the General Hierarchical Commissioner of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Fr. Alexandros Karloutsos, stated to the Sputnik news agency.
“On September 10, the Vespers will be celebrated under the Archbishop. “This is our contribution to the anniversary of 9/11,” said Father Karloutsos.
The next day, Saturday, the church will be lit, along with other buildings in the area, in blue to honor the memory of the victims of the attack, he added.
On September 11, 2001, al Qaeda terrorists shot down two passenger planes that had hijacked the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York, while another plane struck the Pentagon near Washington.
A fourth hijacked plane crashed in the state of Pennsylvania without ever hitting its target.
The attacks killed about 3,000 people and injured more than 6,000.
The temple was completely buried after the collapse of the south tower of the World Trade Center
The temple was completely buried after the collapse of the south tower of the World Trade Center after the terrorist attack.
Shortly after the attacks, New York authorities pledged to rebuild the church, but their efforts were met with significant delays as many political issues had to be resolved, said Michael Psarros, vice president of the Friends of St. Nicholas. which was founded with the aim of raising money for the completion of the temple.
“It is important to know that this is not only the Greek Orthodox Church, but also the National Pilgrimage,” said Michael Psarros.
More than 20 architects submitted their plans before that of the distinguished Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava.
The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese authorized the “Friends of Agios Nikolaos” to undertake the collection of money, the reconstruction and the completion of the church.
The new building is three times larger than the previous one and has a special center where believers of other religions and dogmas will be able to pray and honor the memory of their loved ones who were lost in the terrorist attacks.
In fact, Michael Psarros expects that the church of Agios Nikolaos will be the orthodox church in the USA that will gather the most visitors.
“Millions and millions of people visit Point Zero every year (STS: the site of the International Trade Center or Twin Towers) and our doors to Agios Nikolaos will be open. “This will be the orthodox church with the most visitors in the world from non-orthodox people, even from people who are not Christians,” he stressed.
As the completion of the temple has not been completed, it will not be possible to hold daily services in the coming months. The completion of the exterior of the church is expected to be completed by November 2, when the Doors will be opened under the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
According to Psarros, then the work for the completion of the interior of the church will continue until April 2022, with the hope that it will be completed by Holy Week and Easter of the same year.
“The church will be inaugurated on July 4, 2022, to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America,” said Michael Psarros.