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This emeritus General Authority was only blocks away from the Pentagon when it was hit on 9/11. Here’s what he remembers from that time

by | Sep. 10, 2021

Elder Lance B. Wickman, emeritus General Authority and current general counsel for the Church, was only two or three blocks away from the Pentagon when he saw an airplane descending toward the government building. He had been on assignment for the Church at the time and watched through the taxi’s windshield as the aircraft struck its target.

“Transfixed, we watched, stunned, as it plowed into the Pentagon, erupting in an enormous fireball,” he said. “I am a combat veteran of two tours of duty in Vietnam. I have experienced my share of artillery and rocket attacks. I have seen napalmed jungles. But that vision is beyond my powers of adequate description,” he wrote in an article on Deseret News.

Returning to his hotel in shock and packing his suitcase, Elder Wickman was able to procure a surplus missionary car in Pennsylvania. On his drive home, “something miraculous seemed to transpire.”

“In towns and villages, on farms, at filling stations and convenience stores, American flags and red, white and blue bunting suddenly began to appear. They were on homes, commercial buildings, even barns. Americans from every walk of life, of every political and social persuasion, of every racial and ethnic hue, seemed to come together as one.”

On that drive, Elder Wickman said, he was “overwhelmed with the feeling that the hand of God is still on the United States of America” and he has never lost that feeling.

Read the full article at Deseret News.

Lead image of Elder Wickman speaking at a patriotic religious service in August 2006 by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
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