Palos Hills Church That Is Home to 9/11 Artifacts Will Host Memorial Ceremony
By Dan Lambert.
Source: Palos Patch, September 10th, 2011
St. Luke the Evangelist Orthodox Church in Palos hills is in possession of a World Trade Center beam and rubble from the Pentagon and Pennsylvania crash sites.
St. Luke the Evangelist Church is a
modertly sized house of worship surrounded by forest preserves in Palos Hills. The congregation attends services on Sundays, but often sees an uptick in visitors this time of year.
"I will walk past the memorial and see someone I don't know who has just come to see it in person," said the Rev. Andrew Harrison.
What they come to see are artifacts from Sept. 11. Over the years Harrison, St. Luke's pastor, has collected pieces of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the crash site in Pennsylvania.
Harrison went to New York City in July of 2002 to pick up a 200 pound piece of steel beam from one of the fallen towers. The church was awarded the beam after Harrison wrote a letter to Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
"The whole experience of standing in that empty spot and thinking of all those people, evereytime I hear an airplane go overhead I think of Sept. 11," Harrison said.
The beam was loaded into the back of his van where he draped an American flag over it for the ride home.
In September of 2002 the church held its first remembrance ceremony and continues to hold one each Sept. 11.
A former parishioner who lived near Shanksville, Penn. acquired rubble from that site and a chaplain who was at the Pentagon when it was hit brought back a piece as well.
All three artifacts make up a memorial that sits underneath an icon of St. Nicholas, who was known for his miracles of healing. The memorial leaves a place for visitors to light candles and pray.
This year's ceremony will be held at 6 p.m. on Sept. 11 and is open to the public. The church is located at 9300 W. 107th Street in Palos Hills.