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The shape was oddly identifiable in the blasted wreckage of the World Trade Center, standing upright amid beams bent like fork tines and jagged, pagan-seeming tridents, recalls Sally Jenkins in the Washington Post.

Rescue worker Frank Silecchia found what has come to be known as the “Ground Zero Cross” on Sept. 13, 2001, two days after the terrorist attacks.

A few days later, he spoke to a Franciscan priest named Father Brian Jordan, who was blessing remains at Ground Zero. “Father, you want to see God’s House?” he asked. “Look over there.”

The priest peered through the fields of shredded metal. “Oh my God,” he said. “I see it,” writes Jenkins:

As Father Brian stared, other rescue workers gathered around him. There was a long moment of silence as he beheld what he considered to be a sign. Against seeming insuperable odds, a 17-foot-long crossbeam, weighing at least two tons, was thrust at a vertical angle in the hellish wasteland. Like a cross.

Ever since the two jets had slammed into the twin towers on Sept. 11, leaving 2,753 dead, Father Brian had been asked by countless New Yorkers, “Why did God do this?” He would reply tartly, in his Brooklyn-born accent: “It had nuttin’ to do with God. This was the actions of men who abused their free will.” Now here was God explaining Himself. It was a revelation, proof that “God had not abandoned Ground Zero,” even as the awful excavations continued.

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