Priest Details WTC Cross’ 13-Year Journey in New Book

The steel World Trade Center cross is displayed at the Museum. Other artifacts surround the cross.
World Trade Center Cross. Recovered from the World Trade Center site after September 11, 2001. Collection 9/11 Memorial Museum, courtesy of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the New York City Building Construction and Trades Council. Photo by Jin Lee, 9/11 Memorial.

Father Brian Jordan first laid eyes on the conspicuous object on Sept. 23, 2001, after celebrating Sunday Mass for the Ground Zero rescue and recovery crew.

As a construction worker guided the Franciscan priest through the ruins of 6 World Trade Center, Jordan beheld a sign of hope: two steel girders formed in a T-shaped cross, emerging from the debris.

For the next 13 years, Jordan served as the chief advocate and defender of the WTC Cross. He details the history of the 17-foot cross’ journey to the 9/11 Memorial Museum in his new book “The Ground Zero Cross.”

As Jordan told the New York Daily News, “I was so overcome with emotion, with shock, surprise and sheer joy” upon its discovery. He immediately knelt and thanked God, interpreting the structure as a sign from above.

During the recovery effort, the cross held a special significance for many New Yorkers and Ground Zero visitors. Rather than shipping the artifact to the forensic debris site on Staten Island, it was relocated to the corner of West and Vesey streets. It was eventually erected at St. Peter’s Church, just opposite Ground Zero. Jordan blessed the cross at its Oct. 4, 2001, dedication.

The cross is now installed at the 9/11 Memorial Museum, just a short distance from where it first appeared to Father Jordan.

By 9/11 Memorial Staff

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