Ground Zero Exhibit At Grand Central Station In New York City Features His Eminence, Archbishop Demetrios

January 28, 2002

NEW YORK, NY - Every day tens of thousands of people pass through the magnificent Grand Central Station at 42nd Street and Park Ave in New York City- just as tens of thousands of people worked in or visited the World Trade Center every day until September 11, 2001. Today the World Trade Center is no more than a gaping hole in the ground that is now being made deeper and larger by the heavy machinery and huge trucks that continuously dig and remove over a million tons of ruble. The tragedy of the attack on the World Trade Center is now remembered very poignantly by an exhibit at Grand Central Station called "Faces at Ground Zero - A Tribute to America's Heroes" by Joe McNally-prominent Life Magazine photographer .It is presented by Time and sponsored by Morgan Stanley Inc. A few weeks ago, I was among the many people travelling through the station that took notice of this exhibit.

Over the course of three weeks 272 people involved in the tragedy had their pictures taken by a camera as large as a one car garage-30 feet by 40 feet. The resulting over 200 nine-foot tall pictures stand at angles to each other at an exhibition hall in Grand Central Station. They are viewed in silent awe by thousands of people every day. These modern day icons of firemen, policemen, medical professionals, clergy and others, while etched in pain, convey the unmistakable sense of the resilience and the strength that embodies the spirit of America. The firemen and police are dressed in their working uniforms and leather headgear; the doctors and nurses mostly in white. I quickly recognized a familiar bearded figure garbed in a black robe and holding an Episcopal staff.

A picture of His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese was set in a prominent place in the exhibit. A plaque placed at the side of the large photo quoted His Eminence as saying: "In the terrorist attacks we have seen the abyss, the ugliness and darkness of evil. In what followed we have seen the immensity, the beauty and brilliance of good. St. Nicholas will be rebuilt on the exact same location, but it will be much more than a small parish church. It will be a shrine, a monument of remembrance, a consecration of the sacredness of life- a place of reflection and peace for anyone of any faith, or of no faith." The tiny St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, which was situated across the street from World Trade Center buildings, was totally destroyed on September 11, 2001. Many times in the past I have sought seek peace in this small parish church and prayed there as votive lights flickered before ancient icons. A new church will rise and bring remembrance and peace once again, but this time as a shrine and place of peace for all who come. This exhibition intends to travel all over the United States. Watch for it in your area.

---Orestes J. Mihaly