September 20, 2016

J. Chester Johnson Reads His Poem, “St. Paul’s Chapel,” at the Calling of the Names Ceremony

Photo Credit: Nina Roberts

Photo Credit: Nina Roberts


J. Chester Johnson reads his widely-known and broadly circulated poem, "St. Paul' Chapel," during the Calling of the Names ceremony at St. Paul's Chapel on the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. The Chapel was the 24/7 relief center for the recovery workers at Ground Zero, and the Calling of the Names ceremony honored those responders and volunteers who came to help following the attacks and who are no longer alive, many of whom died as a result of exposure to the downtown environment at the time. Johnson's poem has been the memento card since 2002 at the Chapel, where he volunteered during the cleanup. Delegations from Oklahoma City and Boston, both of which have experienced their own forms of deathly and violent terrorism, attended the Calling of the Names ceremony and participated (readers from Oklahoma City called out the first names). J. Chester Johnson read his poem next to the Bell of Hope, which was a gift to the Chapel from the City of London, England, given in person by the Mayor of London and the Archbishop of Canterbury soon after the end of the cleanup at Ground Zero.


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