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Church Beams with Joy over Bell Tower Addition: 200-Pound Chunk of WTC Comes to St. Luke's
By Jim Hook, Daily Southtown Staff Reporter.
Source: Daily Southtown, June 22, 2002

The Rev. Andrew Harrison thought for months about how he might honor the victims of the World Trade Center attack in the expansion of his 98-year old St. Luke the Evangelist Orthodox Church in Palos Hills.

Last month, Harrison wrote a letter to newly elected New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg asking for a piece of the towers to incorporate into the church's new bell tower. The expansion also includes first floor classrooms, a basement and a narthex.

Harrison received a phone call last week from Bloomberg's office saying his request had been granted. He leaves Monday for New York City to pick up a 200-pound piece of steel beam. "I was hoping maybe for a piece of glass or something like that," Harrison said. "I wasn't expecting a 200-pound piece of metal "I'm not exactly sure what we are going to do with it. But we'll find something."

Harrison was driving home after morning prayer services Sept.11 when he heard the news on the car radio about the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. "I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I couldn't believe something like that was happening," he said. "And while we didn't have anyone from our congregation directly affected by the tragedy, I don't think Americans have had a chance to grieve the loss of those who died."

Harrison's request for a piece of the World Trade Center was one of 93 requests granted by New York City, Mayoral spokeswoman Jennifer Falk said. Municipalities and nonprofit groups had to promise to use the material in a memorial, Falk said. "We judge each request on its merit and appropriate use, said Falk who was unsure how much steel was available.

Near completion, the church's bell tower will separate the existing 98 year-old church from the new Sunday school classrooms. A dedication will be held Sept.11 to honor the memory of those who died in the attack on the twin towers. Bishop Job of Chicago will lead the ceremony. The Sept. 11 ceremony will mark the first time the new bells - which are being cast in bronze in Russia - will be rung "This will be a place where people can come to visit and remember the events of Sept.11," Harrison said."That is something that should never be forgotten."

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