9/11 was a fateful date in my life

A couple of milestones, first I just published my 200th post, decent amount for thirteen months of writing. Thanks very much for those who check out my blogs. Most other bloggers are better and more prolific than I am, (and OK, much more popular) but blogging gives me a chance to address some issues, refer people to when they’d like to check out my ministry and an artistic outlet for me. (Yea, I know, not very artistic, but it is for me.)
Other milestone, much more compelling, the thirteenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks in New York City, Washington D.C. and western Pennsylvania.
I was working in corporate finance for Robert Half International in downtown Boston. Worked half a block from Boston Common. Like everyone else this day didn’t start out notably and there was nothing about the day that was at all out of the norm. Nice weather, a little chilly, hey it’s Boston in September, it cools off quick after Labor Day. Pleasant enough walk from South Station, about a mile. Into the day, heard on the radio that a plane hit the World Trade Center. Like others, I thought they were referring to some small craft, didn’t sound like too much of a surprise. The buzz in the office, though, was slowly, but steadily, increasing and I decided to check the television. Clearly this was much more serious. Then the second plane hit and then the plane hit the Pentagon. It was quickly disclosed what flights these planes were and where they had originated, Boston.
I don’t know how, but it had to be one of the one of the fastest decisions in city and state government I’ve every known. Everyone leaves the city who doesn’t live here and they need to be out by 2pm. None of us needed much encouragement. Terrorists struck two major east coast cities, the flights originated from Boston, who is to say there aren’t more and one, or more, aren’t aimed at Boston.
On my way to the last train out of South Station is one of the weirdest experiences I’ve ever had. The mile walk in the heart of Boston on a weekday in September consists of waiting for walk lights, dodging traffic to get across streets, traffic congestion and noise, planes very low over head landing at Logan Airport just across the inner harbor. There wasn’t a lot of idle chatter on the train home and it seemed as if the train crew was on a mission to finish the course and get the heck home themselves.
I knew one NYPD Officer and one Fire Department of New York firefighter and also someone at the Pentagon. Also my corporate jobs were all closely associated with NYC. My first job was with Chase Manhattan, and subsequent companies I worked for had me handling the NYC area. Spent a lot of time in NYC and knew a lot of people in different corporations there. None of them, thankfully suffered any ill-effects due to the attacks.
I wasn’t going to get hold of anyone for a while, but they were all in my prayers. Churches across my home city, mine included, were open the next night and as you may know, church attendance spiked for the next few weeks. Flags were hung, various patriotic displays and waiting for the next step.
I had been serving in the United States Coast Guard Reserve for twenty-five years. Yes, the Coast Guard is a military organization, in fact the unit I was in at the time was a Naval Coastal Warfare unit. This was a unit deployable to anywhere in the world. These units were formed after the bombing of the U.S.S Cole in Yemen In October, 2000 in order to protect U.S. ships in foreign ports. We were told to keep our cell phones on, our seabags packed and be prepared to leave at very short notice. This unit stayed mobilized until August 2002. We were deployed for almost three months to Tarragona, Spain to do force protection for a NATO exercise in Spain.
From there I went back to the boat station I had been with for over twenty years. From there to a temporary assignment to the First District Small Boat Tactical Team to do security for different High Interest Vessels and locations in the First District (mostly New England) and then back to my boat station for the rest of my four years on active duty in the War On Terror.
My corporate job had dissolved since my time on active duty, yea legal, but not really very supportive? But in the meantime, it was decided that I attend seminary and was accepted at Concordia Seminary in St Louis to study for a Master of Divinity degree and to begin my third career as a Minister of the Gospel. I successfully finished in 2010 and was called to my first parish, First Saint Johns Lutheran Church in York, Pa.
God’s hand was clearly in the events in my life in the last thirteen years and the Holy Spirit certainly guided me through a challenging, exciting and interesting time. Praise God and I pray that He uses my experiences to His glory and to serve others to the glory of Jesus Christ.

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