J. Chester Johnson stands beside the all-weather display of his iconic poem, "St. Paul's Chapel," that has been the memento card since 2002 at the Chapel, located in downtown Manhattan; the Chapel miraculously survived the 9/11 attacks and became the relief center for the recovery workers at Ground Zero. This large display of the poem has been placed on the fence directly across the street from the site of the former North Tower, which received the first attack by the terrorists on the morning of September 11, 2001. Johnson's poem has been published around the world and translated into many languages; one literary group in Italy has recognized "St. Paul's Chapel" and Emma Lazarus' "The New Colossus" as the poems that demonstrate the American spirit.
J. Chester Johnson reads poetry at Deborah Danner's memorial. On November 3rd, 2016 at the memorial service for the poet Deborah Danner, the African-American woman who was shot and killed in her apartment by New York City police on Tuesday, October 18th, J. Chester Johnson recited pieces of Ms. Danner's verse. The violent manner by which Deborah Danner met her death was publicized, both locally and nationally, and has caused an uproar among many New Yorkers, reflected in numerous marches, calls for increased vigilance and more restrained use of force by the New York Police Department, and a myriad of public statements by many elected officials. At the memorial, Johnson read a sampling of Danner's well-structured and melodic lyrical verse.