On September 11, 2001, Bill Barton was 70 years old and had served in the military as a firefighter, police chaplain, and disaster chaplain with the American Red Cross. He responded to the Pentagon as soon as it was struck as the disaster chaplain. He joined many other ministers of different faiths. They provided support for survivors, responders, and volunteers. Barton once shared a story of a military member in tears at the sight of the American flag draped over the Pentagon and Barton singing “God Bless America” while others joined in.
Less than a week later, Barton was called to Ground Zero to offer prayers and bless victims, given a mask and a respirator that he didn’t always wear because he felt they impaired his ability to communicate during emotional moments.
Image from the U.S. Naval Institute