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Tragedies of 9/11

In the aftermath of 9/11, The Salvation Army deployed over 4,000 staff, officers and volunteers to assist in disaster areas in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington.

In this period, the Salvos offered key provisions and counseling services to those affected by the attacks.

In Washington, members of The Salvation Army's chaplaincy program and grief counseling services provided food service to over 200 defense workers at the Pentagon in Washington.

Teaming with other organizations such as the Red Cross and American Airline, The Salvos gave aid to Camp Unity, a program designed to supply food and rest to investigators and emergency-service personnel who were attempting to locate any survivors. By September 24, The Salvation Army had served more than 66,000 meals at the Pentagon. 

The Salvation Army's Major Charles Powell  , who served as a counselor for those affected by the tragedy,  said that September 2011 was an extremely difficult time for families and loved ones.

'Most families seem to be dealing with the possibility that their loved ones may never be identified. How do you bring closure to this? All you can do is listen and assure them that God is sovereign. All you can do is support them and love them,' Major Powell said.

Salvation Army Captain Joseph May described the emotional toil of one such worker.

'I saw a fireman sitting off by himself. He wore dark safety glasses, and never took them off. On the one hand, he was dealing with his job, but as he talked, he began telling me how his dad had died some time earlier,'Captain May said.

'These are events that are triggering emotions and situations people have repressed. He wanted to talk about something besides the disaster, to let some steam off of his kettle.'

In New York, 200 volunteers and 150 staff were serving over 100,000 meals at one stage, helping to feed emergency workers whom were working 24/7 to find and rescue survivors of Ground Zero. The Salvos also donated 800 respirators to key areas in New York.

Coordinator of East Coast communications, Major Gary Miller was 'overwhelmed' by the level of generosity by emergency workers, volunteers and others who were making donations (including an owner of a Home Depot hardware store who donated US$13,000 worth of picks and shovels).

'We have been overwhelmed by the generosity we have seen, and want to say thank you to all who have helped with our relief efforts since the terrorist attacks,' Major Miller said.  

The American Football team The New York Jets ' including players, coaches and administrative staff ' donned Salvation Army 'emergency and disaster' T-shirts to help promote the disaster-relief conducted by volunteers.

The team's quarterback Chad Pennington commented on the importance of the volunteer's work in this period.

"It's also great to be working with The Salvation Army. I always felt that it was a great organization that's made up of people of love and honor, who sacrifice for the good of humanity, no matter what the circumstances are," Pennington said.