Salisbury Chaplain Remembers 9/11 Attacks - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Salisbury Chaplain Remembers 9/11 Attacks

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Salisbury Fire Department Chaplain J. Harvey Dixon (Photo: WBOC) Salisbury Fire Department Chaplain J. Harvey Dixon (Photo: WBOC)

SALISBURY, Md.- If you ask any American above the age of 20, they will be able to tell you where exactly they were when they heard about the attack of 9/11. But one local Salisbury man was face to face with those most affected by the attacks 12 years ago.

Chaplain J. Harvey Dixon was at the Pentagon just the day after the attack, and in the weeks that followed he made visits to both Ground Zero and the Pennsylvania field where Flight 93 made its final landing.

He was there to help those affected heal emotionally and spiritually through one of the most stressful situations imaginable. He recalled the task of sifting through body parts as one of the most horrible memories of that week.

"I don't think anyone who was there will every get over it completely," he said.

At the Pentagon, he spoke with a woman from Wisconsin who was working in one of the towers. When the plane hit, that woman said she could see the wings enter through the floor, before taking the lives of two of her colleagues in front of her eyes. And yet she was spared, and lived to tell the tale to Dixon.

"I don't have the answer," said Dixon. "It seemed to me like she should be gone too from the impact of it. But I just hugged her. And I was just glad she was with us."

That woman returned to her home in Wisconsin, but said she couldn't bare to be away from the final resting spot of her fallen colleagues. So she returned to Washington and became an aide to Dixon and the rest of the crew in the Chaplain tent.

"She was a godsend," he said. "She knew the pentagon. We didn't. And whenever we were called to an area, we had a guide that knew the pentagon well."

At Ground Zero, Dixon saw much of the same from local heroes. A first responder told Dixon that her wife refused to stay home, despite lacking the training to assist people. She simple couldn't stand by and watch while all of this chaos was happening in her city.

"She said 'this is New York,'" said Dixon referring to the wife. "She said 'they aren't screaming, they aren't shouting, they aren't blowing horns."

Dixon said the calming togetherness was both reverent and beautiful. And he said there were countless events that brought hope to those in the area. He spoke of fallen debris in New York that formed a perfect cross in a nearby building. Similarly, in Pennsylvania, he said the plane burned a grass area completely, but left a bible in the middle completely undamaged.

"Some of the things that happened were precious," he said. "And there were precious moments in the midst of it all."

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