To the Editor:
Now what do we do? In April, the NY Post had an article about the on-going issue with the St. Nicholas Church and Shrine at Ground Zero, what a shame! As a Greek American, I am tired of reading articles about who is to blame…who cares? We as an ethnic group waste a lot of energy placing blame for things and pointing our fingers and say “AH HA! He is the culprit!” OK, so now what?
The focus on finding who did what is more important than what we do next. Are we so small that it is more important to blame someone, rather than achieve our goal? We have an opportunity to show the world we are relevant; we can create, maintain and promote our wonderful history and heritage. Instead all we do is feed off all the negativity. This Shrine MUST be completed! It is our responsibility to our Nation and our heritage; our duty as citizens to make sure this gets done. It is unimportant how we got here now and by whom, what is critical is what we do from here? The NY authorities will tell us what happened and who is to blame, it is out of our hands.
By definition, a National shrine is a “church or other sacred place which has met certain requirements and is given the honor to be recognized as a special historical, cultural and religious space”. The St. Nicholas Shrine at ground Zero means so much more than just a “special” place.
Ground Zero is a significant historical place. It is more than the buildings which were destroyed, the lives that were lost, the heroes we watched trying to save lives, it was a devastating awakening. There is hatred in the world and it is focused on us, Americans. The great thing about America has always been that we are resilient and persevere when times are tough. Our nation knows how to fight and to win. So, now what?
The St. Nicholas Shrine MUST be built. All of us as AMERICANs must work together to build it. A national movement of Americans must work together as “The Friends of St. Nicholas Shrine Society” to make this dream become a reality. An independent fundraising arm should be developed to raise money from ALL Americans in an effort to get the project finished. The fabric of America is the strength of America, that all Americans from all walks of life can participate to get the Shrine completed. The nightmare will be if the shrine is left to rot, or worse.
The object is clear, we need to raise money to pay for the building of this shrine, $10 Million, $20 Million, or whatever it costs to finish the shrine. This newly created entity should pay the construction company directly and be composed of business and lay leaders who want to see the project completed. We should bind ourselves to gather to get the job done.
Having watched countless billions being raised for other museums and shrines in Washington, DC, it is possible to turn this ship around and finish the work at Ground Zero.
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill
Basil N. Mossaidis, Greek American, Washington, DC