20-foot tall cross found standing in rubble at Ground Zero
Workers at Ground Zero in New York dedicate a cross found amidst rubble of the World Trade Center. Laborer Frank Silecchia found the cross two days after the collapse of the twin towers. The cross was from World Trade tower One, and was found in World Trade building Six.
NEW YORK, Oct. 10 — ``Some people will say it's velocity or physics that put it there. To me it's an act of God,'' said Silecchia, who cried for 20 minutes after his discovery.
Silecchia, a Christian, found several crosses standing upright in the smoldering wreckage three days after the attack. They were crossbeams that had fallen from the top of the collapsing north tower and landed in an unusual position.
Believing them to be a sign from God, Silecchia dubbed the area "God's House," and led distraught rescue workers there to pray.
Word spread as priests and pastors ministering on the site encountered the structures, and told others how startling they appeared.
Silecchia led Father Jordan to the site two Sundays ago.
"It was astounding," Jordan said. "When he showed it to me, I was an instant believer."
Silecchia told the priest that the crosses should be saved for a permanent memorial. Jordan agreed, and contacted Deputy Mayor Joseph Lhota to make arrangements.
The most significant of the crosses was removed from the wreckage, affixed by ironworkers to a permanent base, then placed on the high walkway over West Street.
Yesterday, some 300 people gathered there for prayer and reflection.
Firefighters came. Police officers came. Construction workers, rescue personnel, Port Authority officers and others - all gathered at the foot of the 20-foot-tall cross to watch Father Brian Jordan, a Franciscan friar, bless the cross and pray for "the healing mercy of God on all Americans."
``Behold the glory of the cross at ground zero,'' Jordan said. ``This is our symbol of hope, our symbol of faith, our symbol of healing.''
The workers prayed and sang God Bless America together before returning to work.
A teary-eyed firefighter said the cross helped him overcome his anger. "We thought the devil was here, but with this cross, we know God is here," the firefighter said.
Sources: Rod Dreher, New York Post; Shannon McCaffrey, Associated Press
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