Group reflects on providing relief in NYC after 9/11; prepares for weather relief
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Everyone has a story of where they were when the 9/11 attacks took place and just months shy of the 10-year anniversary, those memories are just as fresh as they day it all happened.
That's certainly the case for members of the Kentucky Baptist Convention – which is part of the Southern Baptist Convention. Robert Reeves of the KBC made the trip to New York City right after the attack.
"I was actually in a meeting at Cracker Barrel here in Louisville," Reeves said, remembering where he was when the attack took place.
The drive back to the office changed the course for Reeves. While listening to the radio, he heard of the tragedy.
He and part of a group of volunteers departed the next day to drive to Ground Zero.
"We could see the smoke rising up from the sight of The World Trade Center and it was one of those things where we really couldn't quite believe what had taken place," Reeves said.
They took hours of video from their trip. For weeks, nearly 400 Kentucky volunteers manned feeding stations for victims and 9/11 volunteers. Yet Reeves says it was seeing the pain that was the most challenging for the group.
"Seeing all of the posters posted to telephone poles and to walls and everywhere else where people were looking for their loved ones and you had the pictures and flowers - that part was very moving," Reeves said.
He says it feels like it all just happened yesterday.
"I was sort of thinking ahead to the fact that September was going to be the 10th anniversary and we think of all the different things that have happened in our nation in the last 10 years, but I wasn't really expecting to confront those memories here in May," Reeves said.
While they're not celebrating the death; Reeves and the KBC are hoping for peace.
"We certainly don't rejoice in any human loss of life; we know that god loves every single person, even Osama Bin Laden. We're just pleased that none of our service members were hurt during this operation," Reeves said.
While many of the KBC volunteers are reflecting on this day, they're also packing up and getting ready to brave another tragedy.
"We got the call Saturday morning requesting help," said Coy Webb with the KBC. Their effort hasn't slowed down.
Five teams are in Alabama now; four more should be there by tomorrow for a total of 80 area folks helping with the relief and they have their work cut out for them.
"They're going to be doing chainsaw work; clearing trees from homes as well as roadways and other affected areas. We also have two mobile shower units that they requested on the ground - those are being used for volunteers but also for victims because much of the area's still without power," Webb said.
The KBC is one of the largest disaster relief agencies. In fact, more than a dozen Kentucky volunteers are also helping with the flooding in West Point.
"They're actually cleaning out homes; the flood waters and mud waters were in the homes and they're mucking that out and pressure washing and helping to treat that from mold," Webb said.
The numbers are just a drop in the bucket compared to KBC'S 8,000 volunteers who are all glued to the forecast, hoping Mother Nature eases her grip here at home, and beyond.
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