9/11 We Remember
SPECI A L 10 t h A N N IV ERSA RY ISSU E
L i fe S to r i e s o f Go d s Pe o p le
Ground Zero: New York City
A Salvation Army mobile canteen was on the scene within 30 minutes after the first jet hit the North Tower. The Armys comprehensive, compassionate service lasted until the closing ceremonies on May 30, 2002, and continued at various sites in and around the city for four more years.
The Pentagon: Arlington, Va.When Major Todd Smith saw the smoke ris-ing very near his Washington, D.C., office, he dispatched mobile canteens immediately to the Pentagon. The Salvation Army served more than 7,000 workers every day for three weeks at the crash site.
Flight 93: Shanksville, Pa.The Salvation Army sprang into action as soon as word was received of a plane down in a field in western Pennsylvania. The Army provided a trusted presence to police, FBI, and families on the scene.
We RememberThis 10th anniversary commemorative issue of Priority! is filled with voices of those who served with The Salvation Army following the attacks on September 11, 2001.
DEPARTMENTS 5 Letters
FALL 2011 Volume 13 No. 3
promoting prayer, holiness, and evangelism through the life stories of Gods people
THE SALVATION ARMY
Territorial Leaders USA Eastern Territory
Commissioner R. Steven Hedgren Commissioner Judith A. Hedgren
Chief Secretary Colonel William Carlson
Editor Linda D. Johnson
Art Director Keri Johnson
Senior Designer Saoul Vanderpool
Contributing Editors Warren L. Maye, Robert Mitchell
Graphic Designers Dave Hulteen, Karena Lin,
Joe Marino, Reginald Raines
Circulation Deloris Hansen
Marketing Christine Webb
SALVATION ARMY MISSION STATEMENT
The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian
Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God.
Its mission is to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name
Priority! is published quarterly by The Salvation Army USA Eastern Territory. Subscriptions are $8.95 per year;
bulk rates available. Write to: Priority!, The Salvation Army, 440 West Nyack Rd., West Nyack, NY 109941739. Volume 13, No. 3, Fall 2011. Printed in USA. Postmaster: Send all address changes to: Priority!, 440 West Nyack Road, West Nyack, NY 109941739. Priority! accepts advertising. Copyright 2011 by The Salvation Army,
USA Eastern Territory. Articles may be reprinted only with written permission.
USA National website: www.SalvationArmyUSA.org
I Will Restore
T en years ago, after I had the privilege of serving on Sept. 14 and 15 at Ground Zero, I couldnt sleep until I wrote about my experience. I
called the piece I wrote Altered Reality.
What I had seen was apocalyptic, the stuff
of nightmares. I wrote, So many people
in the world already know what we have now learned: that evil has the power to
destroy, and no one is invulnerable. Then I wrote about serving the rescue workers
from my post very close to the smoking pile of rubble. And about the indomitable
spirit of a New Yorker who worked alongside me handing out dust masks, socks,
Gatorade, and gum to men and women heading back to their desperate search for
I asked, Where was God in all of this? And I answered, He was at the heart
of it all, right where evil had planted its seed.
Those words come from a Morris Chapman song, most familiar as sung by
Joseph Garlington. It goes, What was lost in battle/What was taken unlawful/
Where the enemy has planted his seed I will restore to you all of this and more.
When I sent out a call in May for memories of 9/11, they flooded in, and I was
struck by how vivid, detailed, and raw they were. Aaron Antill talked about visit-
ing the site, where new Towers are now rising from what was once called the Pit.
He said, Lots of feelings I didnt know I had came rushing back.
That may be true for you too on this 10th anniversary. It certainly is for me. My
reality has truly been forever altered. Evil did plant its seed in America on Sept.
11, 2001. But right there, in the midst of smoke and ash and sorrow, God began to
restore. He was there in New York City. He was there in Shanksville, Pa. And He
was there at the Pentagon. He was there with the thousands of Salvation Army
officers, soldiers, and volunteers who washed feet, served a cup of cold water, and
prayed with the exhausted, the angry, the grieving.
My prayer is that as you read this issue, youll find what many of the writers
foundthe Lord in the midst of it all. Hes still there today, with healing in His
wings. He will restore: Thats a promise.
serving among new yorkersI served at Ground Zero two weeks prior
to Thanksgiving, 2001. It was a privilege
serving among the New Yorkers who
tirelessy gave of their time, despite their
own loss and pain. I met many wonder-
ful individuals, especially Debbie, a
native of Brooklyn. Debbie said that
if she would ever convert from her
Jewish faith, she would convert to Sal-
Captain Shannon Benner
As many other volunteers gave of time
and service to help the people of New
York, so did Tom and I. We wasted no
time responding to the call when Cali-
fornia Southern Baptist Disaster Team
requested us to join with The Salvation
Army to provide meals for the some 600
investigators that were sifting through
the rubble on Staten Island. We still
correspond with some of the people we
met while working the 9/11 disaster in
New York. It was our pleasure to serve
alongside The Salvation Army. When
I returned home I wrote an 11page
story of my experience. Our lives were
Tom & Peggy Williams
Comfort in Boston
A number of officers were at Logan Air-
port in Boston providing counseling to
families of those who died in the WTC
I recall ministering to a couple of
families, holding them as they cried
in total shock and disbelief.
It was not easy not to join in
their suffering because crying
was the only response we
With other families, we
just sat in silence with them,
letting them know that we
were present and we would
not leave them alone.
Major Jim Guest
School for Officer Training
dark daysI was stationed at Ground Zero in the
American Express building, which was
also being used as the morgue. I always
get a little tearyeyed when I recall all
the details. It was raining; all I could
smell was jet fuel; there was dust and
black soot everywhere; the lights didnt
work; everything was dark outside and
inside the buildings. The most powerful
memory was when body parts wrapped
in orange material were carted into the
AMEX building right in front of me.
Its a pretty brutal image to recall, but
it also made me grateful and thank-
ful to God for everything I have. So
when I hear people (including myself)
complaining over petty things, I think
back and remember how very blessed I
Greater New York
flight 93 gallantryThe one thing that stands out in my
mind when I remember Sept. 11, 2001, is
that Osama Bin Laden could put a dent
in our country but not could not total
us. We are a strong bunch of people who
stick together in times of trouble. Expe-
riencing the recovery efforts at the crash
site of Flight 93, I witnessed and was
a part of the gallantry of our citizens
working together. It really made me very
Letters about 9/11The cover of a special supplement done 10 years ago. For many people, the memories are still fresh.
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THIS END UPF U R N I T U R E C O M P A N Y
Letters about 9/11proud to be an American and belong to
The Salvation Army.
Western Pennsylvania Division
changed outlookWhen 9/11 happened, I was a newly
commissioned officer and newly married.
I was down at Ground Zero for 12 days.
My experience there changed my whole