Nick Mavrick served on the OCN Board of Directors. The OCN Board consists of volunteers, who are also donors, and are passionate about giving back to the Orthodox Church. We welcome other volunteers to join us.
Today, “a moment of silence was observed at 8:46 a.m., the moment when the first plane struck the North Tower” notes the Wall Street Journal in ‘9/11 Ceremony in New York City Marks 14th Anniversary of Attacks‘. Victims’ family members began reading the names of the 2,983 people killed in the 2001 attacks and the 1993 bombing. Houses of worship throughout the city tolled their bells”.
This morning, many awoke to a heart wrenching NPR StoryCorps feature ‘At A Brooklyn Cemetery, A Place Of Work — And An Enduring Memorial‘, where Isaac Feliciano recalls how he “dropped his wife off at the subway so she could get to her job at Marsh & McLennan, in the south tower of the World Trade Center. Then, he headed to work himself — at the Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, where he’s worked for the past 21 years”. To this date, Mr. Feliciano visits his wife at her grave site, just about every single day. “Whatever the name given to the site of the Sept. 11 attacks, there is just one name that matters to him — and just one site he wants to keep visiting”, notes National Public Radio.
In a personal attest to his family’s loss and his profound love for his wife, he adds “Her name is Rosa Maria Feliciano,” he says. “She’s buried here, so Green-Wood Cemetery is ground zero for me.”
Lost on 9/11 were thousands of lives, countless families, the innocence of many, the World Trade Center and St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church. Reflecting the perseverance of the faithful to create a sanctuary, St. Nicholas National Shrine at the World Trade Center is well-underway to being rebuilt across the street from what used to be the Twin Towers
Commemorating an enduring memorial to the victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Archbishop Demetrios, the primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, said on Tuesday “The purpose (of the St. Nicholas National Shrine) is to project something that will open a window to eternity.”
At the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the 18th of October, 2014, his All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew said in reverence of the St. Nicholas National Shrine, “May your labors, perseverance, dedication and faith manifest in the construction of this sacred temple, which we pray will truly become a haven of the tempest tossed, a comfort for mourning, a healing of passions, a refuge of the weak, a sign of victory over evil and the pouring of the heavens upon the earth. May the works of your hands be blessed with prosperity, longevity, and every good endowment and perfect gift from above”.
The evil perpetrated on 9/11 has left an indelible mark on the United States and the world, however,
remembrance does not only bring sadness, but hope, healing, faith and beauty. In a “a hauntingly beautiful tribute from mother nature”, Jason Samenow of the Washington Post highlights how “photographers filled social media feeds with gorgeous views of rainbows flanking the iconic skyline on the eve of 9/11, 14 years later”. “A rainbow Thursday evening appeared to originate from the World Trade Center” (Washington Post: ‘Vivid rainbows grace New York City skies on eve of 9/11‘).
“What seemed like a simple idea in 2001 — to replace the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church that stood at 155 Cedar Street until it was crushed by the collapse of 2 World Trade Center — became one of the most complex projects in the redevelopment”, notes David Dunlap, in the New York Times article ‘Church, Rising at Trade Center Site, Will Glow Where Darkness Fell‘
Entranced by the St. Nicholas National Shrine at the World Trade Center, one may envision taking the outstretched hand of Saint Nicholas, the protector of children. Imagine him guiding you to a humble church destroyed on 9/11 and rebuilt – The St. Nicholas National Shrine.
You enter the St. Nicholas National Shrine, light a candle, kneel, close your eyes. And join Abraham Lincoln and Mother Theresa in prayer.
‘We pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.
Keep the Faith and remember:
From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered, we answer kindly.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.’
St. Nicholas hands you a broken drinking goblet, like the Grail, under a spell so the wrong ones cannot find it. Drink and be whole again beyond confusion. This is your freedom, your Faith, and your call to remember.
Posted by Nick Mavrick. You can find Nick Mavrick on Google+