On September 11th, 2001 the United States was attacked by terrorists.
These people used commercial airlines as bombs against our own buildings.
Why did they do this? Because they were angry.
Where was God when this occurred? God was right here with us, along side of us, helping and encouraging us.
One year later a newspaper article was written from the site of the Flight 93 crash. It states the fact that a Bible was the only item which was left intact and unharmed from the crash. Everything else had been incinerated. Please read it and be encouraged. God is never caught off guard, even when we are. And God always has something to say from His Word.
This article appeared in the Johnstown (PA) Tribune-Democrat on Sept. 11, 2002
Symbol of Faith: Bible survives fiery Flight 93 crash. By Tom Lavis
If the world is looking for a sign of hope in the turmoil that erupted on Sept. 11, it may have found it. Teams of emergency personnel who responded to the crash of Flight 93 near Shanksville made a discovery that shocked and inspired them. Resting not far from the smoldering, 25-foot-deep crater where 40 innocent victims perished, firefighters found a Bible that was barely singed.
Minutes before, the area had been a raging inferno as jet fuel ignited into a fireball when the plane plunged into the earth. Initial responders said they found literally nothing on the ground that indicated that a jetliner had crashed. Most said they expected to see wings or a tail section intact, but as a witness told me, “There were no pieces bigger than a dinner plate anywhere to be found.”
The men I spoke with in interviews expressed varying degrees of religious faith, but all were moved by the sight of the Bible. Sam Wills, 25, of Somerset, a computer specialist at Somerset Area High School and a member of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard, left work as soon as he heard about the crash. He went home, put on his uniform and joined two sergeants at the armory. The three men went directly to the site and arrived about 45 minutes after the crash.
“The fumes of jet fuel burned my nostrils,” he said. “There were only two recognizable things on the ground – a burning tire from the landing gear and the Bible laying open on the ground with its pages as white as snow.” Terry Shaffer, 46, of Stonycreek Township, Somerset County, and chief of Shanksville Volunteer Fire Company, said when he arrived at the site, the Bible was about 15 yards southwest of the crater, not far from the burning woods. “It was on the southern end of the crater or where the tail section should have been,” Shaffer said. “I haven’t shared the story with anyone, but there definitely was a feeling that God’s hand was present. The leather cover on the Bible was singed, but none of the pages was burned. It was an older Bible that you could tell was used a lot.”
Police and federal investigators are reluctant to give details about the Bible. Jack Lewis, state police press secretary, said my request to speak with officers who arrived immediately on the scene was discussed with the department’s Command Staff in Harrisburg. The decision was made that, since the site was under the jurisdiction of the FBI, only the FBI could release information. Bill Crowley, FBI special agent in Pittsburgh, said the bureau doesn’t talk about evidence in a criminal investigation, especially where personal effects would impact surviving family members. I would imagine that any family member would be comforted to know that their loved one’s personal Bible still existed, even if it couldn’t be returned until after the investigation is complete.
Emergency personnel were touched by the discovery, as I am sure the state police and FBI investigators were. No one witnessing such a horrific crash could deny the affect of such an incredible discovery. Shaffer said he was unaware of the Bible’s owner or if there was a name inside. He said everyone on scene was ordered not to touch anything until authorities arrived. It is a safe guess to assume that the Bible was photographed, tagged as evidence and collected. Let us hope that the Bible can be returned to the family of its rightful owner.
The obvious question is, if people consider the Bible a divine sign, what pages
Rev. Dimetrius Dumm, a Bible scholar and seminary professor at St. Vincent College, Latrobe, said scholars are skeptical about things that are considered a sign from God, but scholars also do not deny that God sends signs. In this case, the only connection that Dumm can make with the chapters that were open is that society nowadays may place too much emphasis on idolatry. “We may be putting too much emphasis on money, power and pleasure at the expense of the vulnerable of our society, especially the poor, the elderly and children,” Dumm said. Maurizio believes the Bible’s survival is a sign.
“I talked with two officials who saw the Bible and were staggered,” Maurizio said. “In my own personal opinion, this is a miracle and a sign from God that, while things can be destroyed, the Word will never die. And God’s love for us will never pass.” Even skeptics would find it difficult to explain why nothing but this Bible was preserved. “It made the hairs on my arms stand on end,” said Wills, who calls himself a religious person but not a church regular. “I believe it is a sign that evil did not prevail and that there is a power stronger than anything on earth.” Despite the horrific magnitude of the disaster, everyone I spoke with agreed that there was an unexplained peacefulness and calmness at the site.
no secret that the passengers on board Flight 93 displayed remarkable courage to
stop another terrorist on-slaught Sept. 11. They undoubtedly prayed for guidance
in their hour of crisis.
This article originally appeared in the Tribune-Democrat on October 22, 2001. Bold type is the NH editor's emphasis added.
Read for yourself, Go to 1 Kings 13
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