Excerpt: Triumph Over Terror

We invite you to read an excerpt of Triumph Over Terror, a book coauthored by Chaplainbob-ossler Bob Ossler and Janice Hall Heck. The book relates Chaplain Bob Ossler’s experiences at Ground Zero in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on New York City on 9/11.

Triumph Over Terror has been nominated for the Non-fiction category award in the Christian Indies Contest. Please help us win First Place recognition by voting here:

VOTE here: http://www.christianpublishers.net/18votes/

Here’s an excerpt from Triumph Over Terror which is available for purchase on Amazon.

Hard Shells, Soft Hearts

“An abnormal reaction to an abnormal situation is normal behavior.” –Victor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

Every day at Ground Zero, we experienced emotional pain and discouragement along with anxiety and anger toward the sheer vastness of this mass murder crime scene and its perpetrators. Our inability to better manage our work and emotions frustrated us.

Recovery workers handled emotional pain in a wide variety of ways. Some who recovered human remains stood for long moments frozen in respectful, reverent silence. Seasoned firefighters saluted fallen buddies as tears slipped down their faces. Unabashed, others wept and embraced each other. No one ever mocked others for crying, a normal response to the deaths of several thousand people.Stan Honda Associated Press

Other stoic workers didn’t pause in their work. They plugged away, moving beams, hauling trash, investigating crevices. Did they suspect if they stopped, they’d nosedive into an emotional heap? I don’t understand how this last group managed to hold themselves together for so long. A matter of emotional survival, working was their way to respond to intense pain. For the most part, people on and around Ground Zero wanted to talk about what bothered them, about their memories, or about the difficult recovery they’d made. Talkers who wanted to share a burden sometimes sought out a chaplain.

While on the Pile I heard cussing and fussing and all kinds of foul or obscene language–a normal response to intense pain. Even though profanity offended me, I ignored my discomfort and stayed close by, ready to offer an ear for someone who needed to vent. Little things triggered these angry outbursts of cursing, opening up the emotional floodgates to liberate deeper pain. One guy whacked his hand moving heavy debris and discharged a wild string of obscenities. He turned, noticed me standing nearby, and said, “Pardon my French, Father.”

I smiled. “I don’t remember those words in French class.”

He laughed, breaking the tension. We both returned to work.

After a while, the mountain of debris grew smaller. Slowly but surely, things started looking better at the Pile. Workers rallied with new energy, refusing defeat despite the remaining months of backbreaking endeavors. As we conquered part of this tragedy’s darkness, we sometimes heard laughter.

The ash and smoke-filled air started to clear. Families visited the Ground Zero viewing platform to conduct dedications and memorial services for lost love ones, and I smelled their flowers. At times, instead of death, I smelled food cooking at makeshift eating places. Now I tasted grit-free lasagna and savored the taste of the coke I drank when parched.

Workers and volunteers shook hands and hugged in the joy of overcoming harsh tragedy. History proved once again: When a powerful blow knocks Americans to their knees, we pray, rise again, and go back to work–more powerful, resilient, and stronger than before.

Used by permission. Blackside Publishing.

Please vote for Triumph Over Terror here: http://www.christianpublishers.net/18votes/

Please order Triumph Over Terror on Amazon.

READ another excerpt from Triumph Over Terror at https://janiceheck.wordpress.com/2018/02/05/vote-for-triumph-over-terror-nominated-for-christian-indie-awards/ “Sweeper Man”

VOTE for other quality books on Christian Indie Awards:

Candy Abbott, I’ve Never Loved Him More

MaryAnn Diorio, The Dandelion Patch and Return to Bell Terra

Kathryn Ross, The Gatekeeper’s Key

Michele Chynoweth, The Peace Maker


About Janice Hall Heck

Janice Heck, coauthor of Triumph Over Terror with Bob Ossler, is a retired educator (special education, early childhood administration). After retiring, she kept her hand in education by teaching English, writing, and computer applications (part-time)in a residential adolescent drug/alcohol rehab program. In her free time, she writes for, edits, and publishes a community newsletter; sings in the Margate Community Church choir; and collects old grammar books just for the heck of it. She loves travel, photography, cats, writing, blogging, blogging challenges, and life-long learning. She is a wife, mother, and Grannie to thirteen grandchildren. She is committed to Relay for Life (cancer), the annual City-to-Shore MS Bike-a-Thon, and the American Heart Association. Welcome to her blog. Connect with her @janiceheck on Twitter, Janice Hall Heck on Facebook, and website www.TriumphOverTerror.com.
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