Archive for Tragedy
On this and every Patriot Day, we take the time to remember and honor all those who lost their lives. Thank you to the brave men and women who risked theirs to keep us safe and preserve our freedom. We will never forget.
Around our Nation there are many special observances for the Tenth Anniversary of foreign terrorist attacks on our homeland. I will participate in a Service of Prayer, Healing, and Remembrance on Sunday evening 11 September at Chapel By The Sea, Naval Station Mayport, Florida. During the service, Captain D. F. Cochrane, Naval Station Mayport Commanding Officer and Captain Tim Lantz, Navy Region Southeast Chaplain will address the theme “Where I was on September 11, 2001.”
Likely most Americans could offer vivid recollections of their exact locations, thoughts, and feelings on that day. I was at Naval Hospital Portsmouth that morning for a series of pre-retirement X-rays. Shortly after the first airplane struck the World Trade Center North Tower, I came through the waiting area on the way to an appointment in the Radiology Department. Many people were fastened to the television.
By the time my appointment was finished, the second plane struck the World Trade Center South Tower and another plane struck the Pentagon. Coming back into the waiting area on the way to the parking garage, I encountered a room full of fellow patients in stunned silence. With them I watched the South Tower collapse. While driving back to Virginia Beach, I heard on the car radio about collapse of the North Tower and crash of the plane in Somerset County, PA.
During unimaginable events, the mind and heart is flooded with all sorts of things, many occurring simultaneously. While calling home to alert my wife, I wondered if the Hampton Roads area would be attacked. I also thought about the attack on USS Cole (DDG 67) nearly a year earlier on 12 October 2000. My official retirement ceremony was just a couple of weeks away. Although unlikely that any of these events would cause a stop in my orders, I wondered about all sorts of implications for our Navy and the other Armed Services.
Other thoughts over the next days following – at least ones I recall this week – would fill many pages. The one prevailing thought was about the nature of God and the nature of individual and corporate evil. Then and now I take consolation in belief that God is not the author of evil. Through every alarm, tragedy, and atrocity brought about by human hands, God will provide grace and strength.
The national MCA leaders join countless others to remember those who died on September 11, 2001 and the sacrifices of first responders and many others in days that followed. And, we particularly honor our Warriors and their families. For nearly a decade, our Warriors have been constantly engaged in fighting. In defense of our homeland, they and their loved ones have paid staggering prices with repeated deployments, combat trauma and injuries, and death. Thank you for answering the call to preserve our liberty. God bless you!
Chaplain Gary R. Pollitt / Captain, U. S. Navy, Ret. / MCA Executive Director
Chaplain (Brigadier General) Wayne W. Hoffmann, AUS (Ret.) recounts a moving example of pastoral care for a Marine Corps family in tragic circumstances. Chaplain Hoffmann is a Past National President of the Military Chaplains Association and Past National Chaplain for the Military Officers Association of America. He currently serves as President of the MCA’s San Diego chapter and President of the Army Chaplain Regimental Association.
Chaplain Hoffmann is a fervent promoter of joint and inter-agency cooperation among chaplains. He is a principal mentor for the MCA’s emphasis on the call and commitment to lifelong chaplaincy . The article linked below is posted from the MCA’s Fall 2010 issue of The Military Chaplain.