St. Paul’s Chapel

Sehr beeindruckt hat uns auch der Besuch der nahe gelegenen St. Paul’s Chapel die heute sowohl einer lebendingen Gemeinde für Gottesdienste dient als auch mit vielen Schautafeln an die besondere Aufgabe dieses Ortes in der Zeit nach dem Attentat von 9/11 erinnert. Sie ist Teil der Episcopal Trinity Wallstreet Parish.

For nearly a year after the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center, St. Paul’s Chapel served as a relief mission for recovery workers at Ground Zero. Over 14,000 volunteers worked in 12-hour shifts to provide solace, comfort and care for 2,000 workers each day. St. Paul’s Chapel became the spiritual horne of Ground Zero.

For many, it was the first time they had ever volunteered, and they discovered that one individual’s efforts could indeed make a difference. The poet Chester Johnson was one of the many who came to St. Paul’s offering his help to those who needed hope and healing. Like many who volunteered their time, he discovered that what he took away from this place of extraordinary ministry was far greater than what he brought in.

St. Paul’s Chapel

A poem by J. Chester Johnson

It stood. Not a window broken.
Not a stone dislodged.
It stood when nothing else did.
It stood when terrorists brought
September down. It stood
among myths. It stood among ruins.

To stand was its purpose, long lines prove that.
It stands, and around it now, a shrine of letters, poems, acrostics, litter of the heart.
It is the standing people want:
To grieve, serve and tend celebrate the lasting stone of St. Paul’s Chapel.

And deep into its thick breath, the largest banner fittingly from Oklahoma climbs heavenward
with hands as stars, hands as stripes, hands as a flag;
and a rescuer reaches for a stuffed toy
to collect a touch;
and George Washington’s pew doesn’t go unused.

Charity fills a hole or two.

It stood in place of other sorts.
It stood when nothing else could.
The great had fallen, as the brute hardware came down.

It stood.