Ceremonial lighting at shrine replacing church destroyed on 9/11

9/11: 20 years later
The Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox National Shrine, right, is illuminated for the first time, late Friday, Sept. 10, 2021, at the World Trade Center in New York City. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

LOWER MANHATTAN — A ceremonial lighting and memorial service were held Friday night at a church being built to replace one that was destroyed in the attacks on 9/11.

Religious leaders gathered in the evening at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine for the inaugural lighting, a milestone in the reconstruction of the only house of worship to be destroyed in the attacks.

The church is being built to replace an older, smaller St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, which was crushed by debris falling from one of the twin towers of the World Trade Center.

The Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox National Shrine is illuminated for the first time, late Friday, Sept. 10, 2021 in New York City. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Friday’s ceremonial lighting came from within panels of marble, quarried from the same vein used for the ancient Greek Parthenon.

The reconstruction, long beset with bureaucratic and financial woes, is due for completion next year.

The below photo shows what the original parish looked like on that tragic day, before it was destroyed.

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church on Sept. 11
In this Sept. 11, 2001, photo provided by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, smoke billows from the World Trade Center towers as St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church sits below them in New York’s financial district. St. Nicholas was the only house of worship destroyed in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. (Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America via AP)

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