The Salvation Army commemorates Sept. 11 anniversary with service to first responders in nation’s capital
By: Brad Rowland
Twenty years ago, The Salvation Army was the first relief agency to reach Ground Zero on Sept. 11, 2001. The Salvation Army reported for duty within 30 minutes following the first plane crash at the World Trade Center in New York. Over the course of weeks and months, 39,000 Salvation Army officers, volunteers and staff served and assisted during that time. With that as the backdrop, The Salvation Army hosted a number of events and services across the United States for the 20th anniversary, seeking to remember and honor victims and heroes of the attacks, as well as their loved ones.
One such example came in the nation’s capital, with The Salvation Army Sherman Avenue Corps, located in Washington, D.C. serving nearly 100 DC Metro police, firefighters, and retired servicemen and servicewomen. AmeriCorps Delta 4, a seven-member FEMA Corps team, was on-site to partner with The Salvation Army, and they were flanked by local volunteers, as well as Major Srikant Bhatnagar and Captain Indrani Bhatnagar, corps officers of the Sherman Avenue Corps.
“Thank God for the first responders because no matter the crisis, they give their all,” said Major Bhatnagar. “We cannot thank them enough for the important role they played at Ground Zero, the Pentagon, and in Pennsylvania.”
Volunteers helped with breakfast preparation, serving and cleaning, as well as support with door-to-door food basket distribution. The Salvation Army also received an in-kind donation from Krispy Kreme to bolster the breakfast effort, with meal service taking place from 5 am to 11:30 am local time. In addition, The Salvation Army distributed food baskets, donuts and coffee door-to-door to police stations and fire departments on Sept. 11, while also delivering 200 food baskets to neighboring homes.
“We were grateful to be able to honor the first responders in the nation’s capital,” Major Bhatnagar said. “We continue to thank God for them and the work they do on the front lines.”