Fort Hood, Texas

...The Great Place


We Pause to mourn

  Editor’s Note: This article appeared in the Sentinel Sept. 20, 2001.

Fort Hood chapel doors opened to a grief stricken community that gathered to honor the memory of the victims of the terrorist attacks Sept. 11.

In the wake of the terror, President George W. Bush declared Sept. 14 as a National Day of Prayer and Remembrance, calling on a nation to pray for not only the victims, but also those who have lost loved ones as well.

"I call on every American family and the family of America to observe a National Day of Prayer and Remembrance, honoring the memory of the thousands of victims of these brutal attacks and comforting those who lost loved ones. We will persevere through this national tragedy and personal loss. In time we will find healing and recovery; and, in the face of all this evil, we remain strong and united, 'one nation under God'," said President Bush in his proclamation to the nation.

Following the lead of the rest of the nation, almost 500 soldiers, airmen, family members, and civilians assembled at Fort Hood's post chapel Friday at noon to offer their prayer and support.

"It's very important that we come together, at a time when [our country] is vulnerable," said Chaplain (Col.) Greg Schannep, Garrison Chaplain. "To see soldiers, civilians, police — everyone in the community — come together [here] was very moving,"

In addition to moving speeches by Fort Hood chaplains, Lt. Gen. B. B. Bell, Commanding General of III Corps and Fort Hood, addressed the congregation.

"One thing that I hope none of us disagree on is what makes this nation great and that is God," Bell said. "Our nation is based on - I believe in general - that there is a higher spiritual order that has blessed our land," he said in part of his speech. 

The service tugged at the heart-strings of much of the congregation.

Attendants brought out several boxes of tissue and set them next to each pew partway through the service.

"It was a very emotional and touching service," said Jesus Mendez. "Even I had tears come out."

As the service drew to a close, the doleful sound of a bugler playing "Taps" not only reflected the somber mood of the congregation, but also a nation in mourning.

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