Yesterday we visited the World Trade Center site. Crews are in the process of rebuilding the towers and a museum and memorial of September 11, so the temporary memorial has been taken down.
However, across the street is St. Paul's Chapel. During the rescue and recovery efforts, the chapel served as a care center for the thousands of volunteers who came from all over the world. When I get back home, I'll add some pictures to this post, but for now, here are some of the quotes and facts from the chapel exhibit that I found particularly powerful:
- In the first three months after September 11th, more than 3,000 workers passed through the chapel's gates.
- St. Paul's served between 2,000 and 3,000 meals to workers each day.
- "In the hands of ordinary people, St. Paul's ministry achieved extraordinary heights. Strangers from all walks of life joined together to support and comfort the workers at Ground Zero. For nine months, they served hot meals, organized and dispensed supplies, loaned their expertise, and offered warm smiles. Their hospitality remains a testament to humanity and the power of community." -Chapel Exhibit
- "[The firefighters and other rescue and recovery volunteers] were so tired, and they had so much on their minds that we had to think of every last need that they had and offer it to them before they realized they needed it," said one volunteer.
- Over a thousand licensed massage therapists donated their time to fill four six-hour shifts each day.
- "There were always people working [at Ground Zero] around the clock, so why shouldn't we be there around the clock? They all needed us," said Dr. Adam Lamb, a chiropractor who volunteered.
- "People went in there and worked for 12 hours, and then walked out and said, "This may be the most important 12 hours I've ever spent in my life," said St. Paul's pastor.
- "From the smoldering bleak pit at Ground Zero, workers saw St. Paul's steeple high above the dust. Though they wore many different uniforms, workers journeyed to the chapel with the same needs. At first, they wanted food and a place to sleep. Then, among the banners and letters of love and support, they found strength and courage to continue their overwhelming tasks." -Chapel Exhibit