St. Paul’s Chapel, opened in 1766, is Manhattan’s oldest public building in continuous use. George Washington worshiped in this chapel and it is still open to parishioners today.
On September 11, 2001, God placed his mighty hands over St. Paul’s Chapel, which stands less than a block away from Ground Zero. Miraculously, while buildings around it were destroyed, St. Paul’s Chapel survived that day without even a broken window. The church declares it was spared by a sycamore on the northwest corner of the property that was hit with all the debris. I think it was protected by something much more powerful.
After the attacks on that fateful day, St. Paul’s Chapel served as a place of refuge & rest to recovery workers at Ground Zero. For over eight months, hundreds of volunteers served meals, prepared places of rest and prayed with firefighters, police officers, construction workers and more.
St. Paul Chapel was always a historic place to visit. It houses George Washington’s pew and a cemetery that has victims of the Great New York City Fire of 1776.
But the white ribbons hanging from the trees show remembrance of something much, much bigger.
A remembrance of lives lost. A remembrance of men & women putting their every day lives on hold to aid in recovery. A remembrance of our nation coming together during what will remain one of the most horrific tragedies to ever happen to us.
There is a general hush across the sanctuary as tourists are humbled by the photographs, artifacts, and exhibits.
The fence around the chapel became a memorial after the attacks, as family & friends filled it with pictures, flowers, rosaries, prayer cards and more. The Chapel initially created 15 panels to house the artifacts. That was not enough, as today they have over 400 panels filled with memorials.
And as I write this today, I am filled with immense sorrow for all the lives lost. I am filled with awe of the people who worked around the clock for months at Ground Zero. And I am brought back to how I felt during those weeks after the attack.
I took this photo almost one year ago. My hope is that we will never forget. May this fence always wave white.
St. Paul’s Chapel is located in lower Manhattan on Broadway & Fulton Street. It is open Monday – Saturday, 10 am – 6 pm and Sunday 7 am – 6 pm. The chapel is open to visitors and holds daily worship services.
While you are there, make sure to visit the National September 11 Memorial as well. Here is our take on this beautiful spot.