St. Paul's Chapel New York Reviews
A Church at Ground Zero Feb 15, 2010
At Ground Zero in New York City, there is a church that is often overlooked by visitors. Since 1766, St. Paul's Chapel has served as the oldest, continuously used public building in Manhattan.
Modeled after London's St. Martin's in the Fields, St. Paul's has experienced a lot of history. The first U.S. President, George Washington, worshipped here on his inauguration day in 1789.
More recently, St. Paul's witnessed the horrific events of September 11, 2001. Although the church is directly across the street from Ground Zero, amazingly, the church was spared. Pictures in the church show photos of the graveyard covered in dust, ash and debris, but the building itself was undamaged.
Immediately following 9/11, the church served as a haven for workers at the World Trade Center site. For eight months, relief workers used St. Paul's as a vital refuge.
The displays inside the church are tasteful and moving. A large banner from the people of Oklahoma greets visitors and there are several 9/11 exhibits.
Outside the church, the Bell of Hope, which was presented by the City of London, sits in the graveyard. Incredibly, this bell was made by the same foundry that produced the Liberty Bell and Big Ben. The bell is rung yearly on 9/11 and when a major tragedy occurs.
Looking across the street at Ground Zero, visitors can see that rebuilding has begun. Some steel beams are now in place and concrete has been poured for the memorial park.
St. Paul's is a church that has seen both great promise and great tragedy. A stop at Ground Zero should include a visit at St. Paul's.
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