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St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shire banner.jpg
St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shire.jpg
Terese Loeb Kreuzer / Alamy Stock Photo
USA News

Church destroyed in 9/11 reopens to public after 21 years

by Kelly Valencia

A church in New York, which was destroyed in the Twin Towers attacks in 2001, has been reopened to the public following two decades of reconstruction. 

St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shire opened its doors again on Tuesday following years of delays due to the lack of funding and building permits. 

The 20th-century building was buried under the south tower after the terrorist attack. 

The church will also serve as a memorial to the almost 3,000 people who lost their lives. 

Presiding priest Father Andreas Vithoulkas told reporters: "It means so much. It's such a source of pride and joy for the Greek Orthodox being able to once again have this jewel box built here on Ground Zero in the middle of the World Trade Centre."

The ceremony follows the 20th Anniversary remembrance of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, when the Shrine held its annual memorial service and was illuminated with its signature glow for the first time.

Rebuilt as a National Shrine, it was designed by the world-renowned architect Santiago Calatrava and sits atop Liberty Park overlooking the Memorial Pools and the 9/11 Museum. 

Rev Alexander Karloutsos, a Protopresbyter in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, told Fox News the shire symbolises "reconciliation, forgiveness…is about hope and is our aspiration for human dignity". 

"It glows amid the great, big skyscrapers, she looked like a beautiful bride and she is. And St Nicholas a shining light in the hill for all those people looking for hope and aspiration," he added.

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