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Archbishop Demetrios Offers Prayers at Tragedy Site, Presides at Prayer Service at Holy Trinity Cathedral

New York, NY –- His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, visited the site of the tragedy at the World Trade Center in downtown Manhattan on Wednesday, Sept 12th and immediately following presided at a Prayer Service and Memorial Service at the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity.

Archbishop Demetrios, with the permission of authorities and escorted by Chancellor of the Archdiocese Father Savas Zembillas and Father Alexander Karloutsos, toured the site of the Towers’ collapse, met with police, firefighters, security and rescue teams, offering them prayers, blessings and gratitude for their efforts as well as the unreserved support of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. At the site he offered a memorial service for the repose of the souls of those who had lost their lives, prayers for the health and recovery of the injured, and strength for the families and friends of the victims.

Archbishop Demetrios also expressed his distress regarding the small historical Greek Orthodox Church of St. Nicholas, which he soon learned had been demolished, collapsing under the weight of ruins from adjacent buildings.

As the Archbishop was leaving the site, several members of the media approached him and asked several questions. He spoke of the reasons of his visit to the site and said: “ We have a sacred duty to pray for the repose of the dead but also for the survivors …I am here today as an expression of support to the victims of this tragedy and to their families, but also to the innumerable people who fight selflessly, putting their lives in direct danger in order to rescue their fellow human beings”.

Finally, Archbishop Demetrios expressed his “surprise and satisfaction at the same time for the expression of solidarity, unity and determination” which he felt among people in coping with the tragedy. He also stated in faith and certainty, that “the principles and the powers of good, of justice, of peace and of God’s love will prevail and triumph”.

Families of victims attend Cathedral Service

His Eminence presided at a Prayer Service and Memorial Service at Holy Trinity Cathedral at 5:00 p.m. on September 12. Assisting His Eminence were Bishop Demetrios of Xanthos, Chancellor of the Archdiocese Father Savas Zembillas, Dean of the Cathedral Father Robert Stephanopoulos and Deacons Nektarios and Panteleimon.

Present in the congregation were several relatives and friends of individuals known to be missing at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Also in attendance and offering comments were Consul General of Greece Dimitrios Platis, Consul General of Cyprus Vasilios Philipou and former Ambassador of the United States to Greece, Michael Sotirhos.