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10 years later: Remembering 9/11

Charlton man recalls time at Ground Zero

Charlton Fire Chaplain James Chase spent a week working at Ground Zero in September 2001, after the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center. (click for larger version)
September 06, 2011
CHARLTON — Just two weeks after the planes had struck and the towers had toppled, Federated Church Rev. James Chase left his home in Charlton and headed to ground zero.

It was late September 2001 — the beginning of what is now referred to as the "Post-9/11" world. While the nation was still reeling from the terror attacks that claimed thousands of lives, Chase was still getting used to his new role as a fire chaplain, which he had assumed just months earlier.

"It was overwhelming," said Chase, who was one of 35 members of the Massachusetts Corps of Fire Chaplains who was summonsed to work in New York City in the weeks following the attacks.

Chase had been working as the Charlton Fire Department's fire chaplain for eight months, providing support to firefighters who had witnessed or been part of traumatic events. But his work there couldn't have prepared him for the work he would have to do at Ground Zero.

"During the day, I worked with the firefighters, during the night, I worked at the morgue," he said.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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