MUNSTER | The Rev. Michael Yadron stood outside St. Thomas More on Wednesday watching a crane with a 3,000-pound steel cross dangling from it and smiled.
"It's like being home again," Yadron said as the cross was placed back on the church's bell tower.
"It's turning this bell tower back into a bell tower instead of the Washington Monument. When you drove past it, something just wasn't right."
In November, the huge cross at the church on Calumet Avenue just south of Ridge Road was destroyed by winds. Welders tried to repair the cross after pieces came apart, but emergency crews deemed the work too dangerous.
Crews from Tonn and Blank Construction, of Michigan City, hoisted a new cross on a crane Wednesday morning and positioned it on the bell tower before welding it into place. Yadron said the church budgeted for the new cross, which was paid for largely by insurance.
Eighth-grade students were pulled from their classes to stand in the parking lot and watch the cross being placed on the tower.
"This is history," Yadron said. "They should see it."
Danny Zuccarelli, 14, of Munster, said the cross is more than a symbol of his religion and school.
"It's God watching over us every day, every minute," Zuccarelli said.
Gabby Stodulki, 14, of South Holland, agreed.
"It's a new beginning," she said.