On September 1st, 2002, at the end of the Sunday Service at
Lutheran Church L.I.C., Pastor Lawrence Recla asked Natalia Paruz to go on a very special
Pastor Recla served as the person in charge of the morgue at Ground Zero from the
first day to the last day of the rescue efforts. Pastor Recla brought a small stone from the
deepest part of the excavations at Ground Zero and gave it to Natalia, asking her to place the
stone in the Western Wall in the Holy City of
Jerusalem, as a prayer for the victims of the attack on the Twin Towers.
On September 11th, 2002 Natalia went with friends and family members to fulfill the mission.
Articles about the ceremony in the NY Post and the NY Times.: click on thumb nail to see.
NY Post---------NY Times
(The part about Natalia in the NY Times article is: the photo and its description + the last 4 paragraphs of the article.)
A pictorial testimony of the event
The stone from Ground Zero:
On Wednesday, September 11th 2002 Natalia, her family from Givatayim and Har
Adar, and a friend from Tel Aviv traveled to the Old City of Jerusalem. At exactly 3:46PM Israel
Time (8:46AM New York Time) they started a small but very moving ceremony at the Western Wall.
The time was chosen to coincide with the exact moment at which the first airplane hit the
World Trade Center.
The Western Wall is the remnance of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, therefore considered the
'closest place to G-d'.
Natalia arrived earlier, with her father and a friend, to choose the right spot for placing the
Choosing the right spot:
The chosen spot is in the Ladies' section, near the partition between the Men's section and the
Ladies' section, so that both men and women would be able to participate in the ceremony:
Natalia wore the two 911 commemorative pins Pastor Recla gave her. The pin to the left of the
stone (in the photo below) he gave her together with the stone. The other one Pastor gave Natalia at the 'Let
Freedom Ring' ceremony she organized for 4th of July 2002 (see 'handbells' page in this
With the Chief Rabbi of the Western Wall, who gave his blessing:
At 3:46PM the ceremony started with Natalia reading the following (first in Hebrew then in
English) while her 10 year old cousin, Yarden, held a replica of the Twin Towers her 14 year old
brother, Jonathan, made:
אבן זו הובאה מיסודות מיגדלי התאומים במנהטן, מהמקום העמוק ביותר שצוותי ההצלה הגיעו אליו.
האבן מונחת בכותל לזיכרם של חללי התקפת הטרור על ארצות הברית ביכלל ועל העיר ניו יורק ביפרט: 1428 הניספים שהיו במגדל הצפוני, 620 הניספים שהיו במגדל הדרומי, השוטרים, מכבי האש והמיתנדבים שנתנו את חייהם בניסיון להציל את הלכודים במיגדלים.
אבן זו היא תפילה לעילוי נשמת הניספים.
אבן זו היא תפילה לשלום קרובי, חברי וידידי הניספים - שלא ידעו עוד דאבה.
אבן זו היא תפילה לשלום האנשים ששרדו את התקפת הטרור ב-11 לספטמבר 2001 , למתנדבים ולעובדים בפעולות ההצלה ולכל תושבי העיר ניו יורק.
מי יתן ולא תיהינה יותר פעולות טרור.
This stone was brought from the foundation of the Twin Towers site at Ground Zero in Manhattan, from the deepest spot the rescue teams have reached
The stone is placed in the Wailing Wall in memory of the victims of the terror attack on the United States of America in general, and on the city of New York in particular:
1428 people who were killed in the Northern Tower, 620 people who were killed in the Southern Tower, people of the police force, fire department and volunteers who gave their lives while trying to save those trapped in the World Trade Center.
This stone is a prayer in memory of the victims.
This stone is a prayer to the well being of the relatives and friends of the victims - may they never know sorrow again.
This stone is a prayer for the well being of the survivors of the terror attack of 9-11-2001, for the volunteers and workers in the rescue efforts and for all the residents of the city of New York.
May there never be any more terror attacks.
Natalia placed the stone in a crack in the wall:
The paper from which Natalia read was placed in the wall near the stone:
Natalia lit a memorial candle, placed on the ground, directly under the spot where the stone was
placed. By the memorial candle a replica of the Twin Towers was placed:
A moment of silence in honor of the victims of 911:
The memorial candle is surrounded by pieces of paper on which people wrote prayers:
People praying at the Western Wall:
Photos by Rachel Ramras
The Passing Bells
Tamara L. Raetz
The bells are tolling sorrow,
The dead won't see tomorrow.
A nation mourns:
A ring of grief to share
For the martyrs who now wear
A crown of thorns.
In echoes from a past
We hear the first...and last...
Of dampened lives.
A new mold has been struck,
In bravery and pluck
Against the knives--
This debt will not be paid.
The casting has been made
From heroes' mettle.
Our bells now ring in hope
With heroes' strength to cope
As ashes settle.
©2001 Tamara L. Raetz