SEPTEMBER 11

Providing comfort during the national tragedy of 9/11

Comment
Decrease Increase Text size

In the chaos of the Pentagon that day, amid the wreckage of bricks and mortar and mortals, a goodness emerged with people comforting and caring.

Now retired, Army Chaplain Larry Racster was in charge of support for first responders, survivors and families.

“Prayer seemed to be one of the most effective things because they just wanted a moment away from the terror and anxiety of what was going on,” he said.

For some, it was the grief of loss; for others the anguish of not knowing --.a vigil that for some dragged on for days and weeks.

Many found help in groups such as "taps,” the tragedy assistance program for survivors. Trained volunteers who themselves lost someone in the military, now comforting others.

They kept hope alive when possible. And when hope vanished, they were there for support.

It's not only the people who've given comfort in the wake of 911. It's the places, too. The Pentagon Memorial Chapel -- build right where the plane hit -- offers peace and hope to people of all faiths.

Stained glass windows filled with symbols of courage, faith and hope.

It's open 24-7 because the need to heal is ongoing - even for those trained to comfort.

But not all of them wrestle with the impossible questions of 911.

“My faith has really answered to me most of those questions because I know my hope and faith is not here on this earth,” said Racster. “It's in God.”

Would you like to contribute to this story? Join the discussion.

Recommended For You
comments powered by Disqus