However, none of the happenings in its history would have impacted so profoundly, as did the terrible and harrowing events that played out on September 11, 2001.
The Chapel stands on a plot that backs onto Church Street which immediately adjoined the site of the twin towers of the World Trade Centre, and served as a place of rest and refuge for recovery workers at the WTC site. For eight months, hundreds of volunteers worked 12 hour shifts around the clock, serving meals, making beds, counseling and praying with fire fighters, construction workers, police and others. Miraculously, the chapel survived without even a broken window. Church history declares it was spared by a miracle sycamore on the northwest corner of the property that bore the full force of the debris. The tree's root has been preserved in a bronze memorial by sculptor Steve Tobin.
The fence around the Chapel grounds became the main spot for visitors to place impromptu memorials to the event. After it became filled with flowers, photos, teddy bears, and other paraphernalia, chapel officials decided to erect a number of panels on which visitors could add to the memorial. Estimating that only 15 would be needed in total, they eventually required 400.
The Chapel is now a popular tourist destination since it still keeps many of the memorial banners around the sanctuary and has an extensive audio video history of the tragedy. A place to visit, reflect, feel sorrow and compassion and wish that it never happens again - sadly, perhaps an unrealistic attainment.