Ground Forces

The Salvation Army was on scene within the first hour. They're used to disaster: earthquakes, hurricanes, floods—but nothing like this. The terrorist destruction of the World Trade Center had the number of deaths at first projected to be in the tens of thousands, and the rescue effort would be like nothing experienced outside the theater of war.

Similar to the Red Cross but with spiritual motivation, the Salvationists rolled in with 21 mobile canteens, preparing and serving 1.7 million meals over the next eight weeks. More than 2,600 officers led the work of 10,000 volunteers. When the effort turned from rescue to recovery, the Salvation Army would report immediately helping more than 60,000 victims with mental health and social services—a shoulder to cry on and help paying the bills. In two months, the Salvation Army raised $56 million to aid victims.

In the din of jack hammers and crane engines, to the west side of the smoldering graveyard that had been the mighty towers, a white tent ...

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