It is still almost too difficult to say out loud. But we remember.
Twenty years ago, America saw one of the most horrific acts of violence in our history. We all remember where we were when it happened.
When tragedy struck, The Salvation Army was one of the first organizations to arrive at Ground Zero. Nearly 40,000 officers, employees, and volunteers provided over one million hours of service following the attacks of September 11th, 2001.
After the attack in New York, the New Jersey Division of The Salvation Army set up temporary shelters, feeding stations, counseling services, and provided a mobile canteen, among other services. Following the crash of United Flight #93 outside Shanksville, PA, our Western Pennsylvania Division served nearly 20,000 meals, performed 5 worship services and provided a total of 13,000 volunteer hours.
Our National Capital and Virginia Division of The Salvation Army provided aid and comfort to relief workers and survivors at the Pentagon site, serving meals and drinks while offering spiritual counseling and support. Ian Anderson, Director of Emergency Disaster Services for the Intermountain Division, was among the many The Salvation Army volunteers that arrived at the Pentagon shortly after the attacks.
Ian responded with the Arlington Corps EDS team to the Pentagon the evening of September 11th to help deploy multiple canteens and coordinate hundreds of meals for all response personnel. The EDS team also filled gaps on the ground, helping to stage equipment and supplies as they established their response and investigation base camp.
The Arlington Corps additionally became a site to manage material donations from the public. In the following months, our corps would return to provide emotional and spiritual care to relief workers and public memorial sites in the region. “As a Salvation Army bandsman, we often lead worship services for the personnel sifting through the debris and investigators,” said Anderson. “While I wish it never happened, I’m so proud and fortunate that I was able to serve and help in those relief efforts.”
The Salvation Army encourages everyone to participate in service, healing, and remembrance on September 11th, 2021.