Letter to the Editor: Ok, Now What?

(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

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


  1. Great article. Positive and to the point. We need to work together and correct what went wrong. Enough with blame calling.

  2. Basil is a good man and a patriot, but saying “who cares, let’s move on” is exactly what the kleptarchdiocese wants you to say. All leadership, all accomplishment begins with accountability for what you are responsible for and the results you produce.

    Giving these clowns the money to finish St..Nick’s no more an answer than giving a heroin addict 50 bucks in the hopes he will stop using. There is a profound sickness and pathology in NYC that has yet to be confronted. The archdiocese is abusive, corrupt, and perhaps criminal. More reports by NYC billionaires who will get more medals and black tie dinners from Demetrios is not likely to change any behaviors.

    Basil and Dennis, you don’t have my support to restart efforts without those responsible for this mess being held accountable in civil or criminal processes. Not one cent for the boys who want to dress up in golden robes and crowns and play King for a day in their dollhouse with our money.

    And I notice that neither one of you demanded the immediate return of the looted priest pension fund. Rather the walls of St Nick’s collapse forever then our troopers lose their retirement money.

    Get with the program and get tough like me. Stop looking to play peacemakers with the Greek likes of the Kim Jong Euns of this deal.

    Warm regards to you both

  3. Well said Dean, we need full disclosure and accountability by all involved. Asking the American Orthodox Faithful to throw more money into the pot is not the answer. This has been one of the greatest embarrassments we as American Orthodox have faced. Dropee to all involved.

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