NEW YORK–A procession to transfer the Ground Zero Cross (also known as the Last Artifact) from its present location in the World Trade Center area near the corner of Church and Cortland Street to three blocks north on the exterior of St. Peter’s Church at Church and Barclay Streets will be held on Thursday afternoon, Oct. 5.
This Last Artifact is a t-beam which was erected with numerous other t-beams during the construction of the original Twin Towers during the late 60s and early 70s. On Sept. 13, 2001, a construction worker named Frank Silecchia discovered this cross-like beam amid the ruins of WTC building 6 during the rescue and recovery program. Frank, along with many other rescue and recovery workers, interpreted this beam as a cross and a sign of God’s presence at Ground Zero.
This beam is 20 feet tall and weighs a couple of tons, according to Brian Jordan who contacted then First Deputy Mayor Joseph Lhota (with the permission of then Mayor Guiliani) to arrange to have the beam erected on a concrete slab on West and Vesey Sts. The cross-like beam was blessed by Brian on Oct. 4, 2001.
This cross-like structure has provided consolation to many family members and friends of the victims of 9/11 as well as to recovery workers including volunteers, members of the New York Fire Department and New York Police Department, and other government agencies;. It has also been known to provide comfort to those who pay their respects at Ground Zero on a daily basis.
Due to plans to build in the present area of the cross-like structure, an agreement was made between the Port Authority of NY/NJ, Brian, Fr. Kevin Madigan, pastor of St. Peter’s Church, and Edward Malloy, president of the Building and Construction Trades Council of New York State to temporarily transfer the cross-like structure to the exterior of St. Peter’s until the new construction on the WTC is completed in approximately four years. The cross will then be returned to an external place on the WTC site.
All are welcome to join in the procession which begins at 2 p.m. during which the cross-like structure will be rededicated by Fathers Madigan and Brian. The event will last about an hour according to Brian.
More information about the process is available through Brian Jordan at 212-736-8500.