It’s a sight to see in Waterbury. The cross that sits atop Holy Land USA is finally lit up.
The ceremony began at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Waterbury. After that, thousands poured onto a bridge to see the lighting.
The cross stands 57 feet tall, 26 feet wide and weighs in at 22 tons.
The third time is the charm for the cross that sits atop Pine Hill, that’s because it’s the third cross to rise above Holy Land.
“It means a lot,” said Waterbury resident Henry Sage. “I remember when I was a kid I used to walk up there and move around.”
“I think we should all be proud to have a lovely cross like that in our town,” said Millie Bellefeuille.
The cross is a beacon of light and hope to some and has a deeper meaning for others.
“I think this is the beginning of many good things to happen. I think Joe and the mayor have brought this whole city back together again,” said William Pizzuto, who donated some of his time to the project.
The hours of hard work that went into resurrecting the cross did not go unnoticed.
Joe Pisani of Pisani Steel donated the materials for the structure. Workers then donated their time and effort into the project.
“You know what’s amazing is 34 years I’ve been here in public service and there’s not one single project I’ve ever seen that has brought thousands of people together like this has,” said Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary.
John Greco was the founder of Holy Land.
They’ve named the cross in honor of him. It’s called the “Peace Cross.”
Every time you drive on I-84 and Route 8 in Waterbury, citizens and passing motorists will now see the “Peace Cross” with 4,500 LED bulbs illuminating the sky.
As far as Holy Land USA, Mayor O’Leary said there still are plans to reopen the religious theme park. The cross lighting is just the beginning of it.
Next, the park will be cleaned up in the spring, and then they’ll start bringing in religious structures.