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Ceremony held at shrine replacing church destroyed on 9/11

September 11, 2021 GMT

NEW YORK (AP) — A ceremonial lighting and memorial service were held Friday at a church being built to replace one that was destroyed in the attacks on 9/11.

Religious leaders gathered at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine for the inaugural lighting.

The church is being built to replace an older, smaller St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, which was crushed by debris falling from one of the twin towers of the World Trade Center. The project is expected to be completed next year.

The church, located in a small elevated park, looks over the World Trade Center memorial plaza, with the reflecting pools that show where the towers once were.

It was designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, with inspiration coming from sources including the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. Tributes to slain rescue workers and other imagery from 9/11 have been integrated into its designs.