Frontlines — News Briefs of the West
The pain and terror of last weeks’ horiffic attacks is slowly becoming more real as stories of those affected come to light.
Sadly, we learned the loss of local Salvation Army Advisory Board member Ms. Paige Farley-Hackel of Newton, MA, who was aboard American Airlines Flight 11–the first to crash into the World Trade Towers.
Even in the midst of Tuesday’s horrific tragedies, God’s hand of mercy and compassion was extended as Salvationists and others ministered to victims, relief workers, relatives and friends. Please read on for just a few examples…
Salvation Army oficers were dispatched to the San Francisco Airport, to be available to comfort those waiting for United Flight 93.
In San Francisco, Captain Clem Leslie, Majors Joe and Evelyn Chavez and Major Ray Cross attended Mayor Willie Brown’s emergency meeting of religious and community leaders. The mayor called for clergy to take the lead in promoting tolerance in the aftermath of the disasters.
Mobile kitchen canteens were on standby in Santa Cruz, Redwood City, Santa Clara, Monterey and Fresno.
Utah Governor Leavitt asked The Salvation Army, the Red Cross, and Utah VOAD (Voluntary Organization Active in Disaster) to work together to make crisis counseling available to airline employees and passengers stranded at Salt Lake City airport. All SA social services counselors were on alert and prepared to respond as requested.
In Colorado, the Denver City/County Office of Emergency Management requested the Army to provide canteen service should it be needed. An information hotline handled volumes of calls in the Denver Metro area.
In Montana, the Army was requested to support Bozeman Airport officials should a need for counseling or support for stranded passengers occur.
The Cascade Division notified the Portland, OR, airport of its willingness to house up to 200 stranded airline passengers at Camp Kuratli, and prepared to provide counsling at the airport, if needed.
SIERRA DEL MAR
Canteens were sent to California’s George Air Force Base, which was reactivated to accommodate 40-60 planes to be diverted there.
Under the direction of Lt. Colonel Alfred Van Cleef, divisional commander, a team of trained grief counselors ministered to families of victims of the hijacked planes scheduled to land at Los Angeles International Airport.
Anchorage Korean Corps Officers James and Joyce Lee, along with the corps’ soldiers, were contacted to provide translation services for stranded travelers who arrived on inbound flights from Korea. Working with the Red Cross, the Army assisted with opening a mass shelter at the Grace Community Church.
Prayer services were held throughout the division on the National Day of Remembrance and Prayer. In Boise, SA counter kettles were placed throughout the Boise Towne Square Mall. A group of high school students made a “chain of unity” out of red, white and blue paper for the fundraising effort.
The Army served 750 meals to emergency personnel during the closure of Sacramento International Airport, and provided lodging for some stranded travelers.