9-11 (pixabay)

No one could have ever imagined the tragedy that took place on September 11, 2001. Today we pause to reflect on the 13th anniversary of one of our country’s most tragic historic events. The sights, sounds and memories are as vivid today as they were years ago. The Salvation Army heard the call to serve in the midst of utter pandemonium, and that day changed our ministry forever.

9-11 Jo Ann (Major Robert Scott 2)

Major Robert Scott, an officer with The Salvation Army Indiana Division, at Ground Zero

Within 30 minutes of the first attack, The Salvation Army responded with a mobile kitchen, distributing water to first responders. We were called upon to deliver 35,000 meals to nourish volunteers at Ground Zero that afternoon, and that number grew to 60,000 by dinner. With the help of donors, volunteers, local businesses, Salvation Army officers and staff, we served three million meals in the first eight months after the disasters. It soon became clear our relief efforts would require something more than meals. Healing would spread beyond the traditional approach. We learned new ways to respond, serve and minister.

In 2009 New York City firefighters sat down to make a video about the support that The Salvation Army gave to the boots on the ground during the months following the attacks. That video can be viewed here and offers a glimpse at the important role The Salvation Army played behind the scenes, which was only made possible thanks to the overwhelming support of those who donated to fund our efforts.

Rather than a grim reminder of that day, you’ll feel Hope in how your gifts were put to work, and how the ministry of The Salvation Army expanded to respond to all the needs that surfaced. An emergency response of this magnitude would not have been possible without the kind support of generous friends such as you. And because so many of you answered the call to support the ministry of The Salvation Army, we were there in the midst of tragedy. Thank you for your ongoing support that will enable us to continue responding with compassion and Christ’s love.

 

9-11 Jo Ann (serving food 1)

Indiana Division staff served officers in The Salvation Army’s lean-to next to NYC’s University Hospital. Open 24/7, it offered food, warmth, a chapel and prayer room, and a place to gather, watch a game on TV, and decompress after a difficult shift at Ground Zero.

9-11 Jo Ann (kid notes 2)

A NYC police chaplain reads messages from Indiana school children. The blue picture in the center is from a student at The Orchard School who wrote, “Angels don’t have to be clothed in white” above a drawing of a winged firefighter holding a 9-11 victim in Heaven.

9-11 Jo Ann (kid notes 1)

An officer rests after a long shift and reads letters of thanks and support from Indiana school children. Many officers, fire fighters, medics and construction workers asked to take these messages home.