USA Today Article

Scripture: 1 Peter 1:25

"But the Word of the Lord will last forever. And that Word is the Good News that was preached to you." NLT

(Today's Devotion is taken from a USA Today article by Dave Moniz)

The Staff Sgt. Williams seven-man squad from Washington's combat engineer company at Fort Belvoir was there to work alongside nearly 250 civil search-and-rescue crews from Maryland, Virginia and Tennessee to find survivors in the rubble. After the first few hours, there were none. The plane that had rocketed into the Pentagon and spewed jet fuel that burned to 2000 degrees had left little hope.

"You always hope to find survivors," said Sgt. Aaron Oakes, 22. "But when you see it, then reality sets in."

Williams and his soldiers emerged from the cordoned-off recovery area to talk to a USA TODAY reporter. Wearing black cotton jumpsuits, soot-covered boots and helmets with flashlights, the men looked tired but wanted to share what they had seen.

Williams said at first, they could stay only 20 minutes at a time in the 120-degree heat amid smoldering metal debris too hot to touch. Eventually, working under halogen lights, they managed to shore up the unstable structure with wooden beams. Using handsaws to cut through concrete-and-metal debris, they moved methodically from room to room to make sure no area was missed. Within minutes, they came upon three victims.

By the time the sun rose the "senseless murdering" of the unprecedented attack and the grim work of recovering its victims had "taken a great toll on me emotionally," Williams said.

"There is somebody in there who I knew," Williams said quietly. The victim was the husband of one of Williams' co-workers, a senior enlisted soldier who worked right near the point of impact and is almost certainly among the dead.

Yet, as he looked up into the black chasm torn into the symbol of the mightiest military on earth, Williams saw a sign of hope.

On a second floor, right next to where the jet sheared off a section of the building, was an undisturbed stool. And on it was a thick, open book. Fellow searchers who had gotten a close look said it was a Bible. It was not burned. Nor was anything around it or on the two floors above it.

"I'm not as religious as some, but that would have me thinking," the soldier said. "I just can't explain it."

To Staff Sgt. Williams, all I can say is ---- believe it. For when all we own is gone the truth of the Word will remain.

Prayer: Father, thank you for those who have been awakened to understand who you are. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!

Today you were in my thoughts and I prayed for you...

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