Life After 9-11, and the Second Half of My DC Career

Anniversary Blog Day 3

(Click Here to Read Day 2, 9-11 through my eyes)

All the press aides were hurrying to communicate to their constituencies that the government was not shut down and that business would continue as usual. Congress went back to work on September 12, and nothing was the same. Nothing would ever be the same. The Senate Chaplain opened the Senate that day with the following prayer,

” Almighty God, source of strength and hope in the darkest hours of our nation’s history, we praise You for the consistency and constancy of Your presence with us to help us confront and battle the forces of evil manifested in infamous, illusive, cowardly acts of terrorism. We turn to you with hearts filled with dismay, anger, and grief over the terrorist attacks on the World Trade building in New York City and the Pentagon here in Washington. We pray for the thousands of victims who lost their lives as a result of these violent acts against our nation. We intercede for their loved ones; comfort them and give them courage. In particular, we pray for the loved ones of the firefighters and police who died seeking to help others. Quiet our turbulent hearts. Remind us of how You have been with us in trouble and tragedies of the past and have given us victory over tyranny. Bless the women and men of this Senate today as they join with President Bush in decisive action. Guide them as they seek justice against the perpetrators of yesterday’s e3vil destruction and seek to devise a long-range solution to the insidious problem of terrorism. Thank you in advance for the courageous leadership You will provide through this Senate. You are our Lord and Saviour. Amen”

– Rev. Dr. Llord John Ogilvie, September 12, 2001

Another month later, we were hit again in Longworth, this time with Anthrax. Again, our office evacuated, this time to Krister’s dining room table where business as usual continued until the government secured space for the tenants of Longworth and Hart in the GAO building.

Then U.S. Rep. Saxby Chambliss, my boss at the time, was a member of the House Intelligence Committee, and was co-chair of the terrorism working group. After 9-11, the working group was upgraded to an official subcommittee and Saxby was thrust into the national news spotlight as the press calls began pouring in, with requests to interview my boss and his co-chair, California Democrat Jane Harman. The pressure to respond on our press secretary opened a door for me to assist with some of the daily press operations. This was the beginning of my press career for Chambliss.

In November 2001, Chambliss announced his plans to run in the following year’s election for the United States Senate and again, everything changed. We worked our butts off that year, but one year later, standing on stage behind Saxby and Julianne the night he was elected, was the most rewarding and most memorable moment of my career. There is a picture of Saxby hugging me and Monty, all you can see is the back of our heads and the most precious look on his face. He was an amazing boss and really made a point to let his staff know that he and Julianne appreciate all of our hard work. I went on to serve him and the people of Georgia for the next five years in the press office of U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss. I learned so much in that office, lessons you will never learn in a book. I made some of the greatest friends and had some of the best experiences, including attending the 2004 Republican National Convention in Manhattan, NY; stalking, meeting and making a fool out of myself to George Clooney; and standing on the floor of the Old Senate Chambers the day Saxby was sworn in by Vice President Dick Cheney with his family and the Honorable Zell Miller by his side.

Several years later, the winds of change blew once again, and I left the Hill in 2007 to work for World Vision. This was an eye opening experience where I learned a great deal in a very short period of time, thanks in large part to Stephanie. The training she provided me prepared me in a unique way for the next long term career move the Lord was preparing me to do, which brings us to my current job at McLean Bible Church.

I’ve only just begun my career here, so I don’t have nearly as many nostalgic memories to share as I do from my days on the Hill, but one thing is for sure, I can already say with confidence that I was made to do this job and despite the stress and struggles expected in the ministry world, this is the best job I’ve ever had and think this will likely be the last place I work full time, unless directed otherwise by God himself or unless Sarah Palin is reading this and wants me to come work for her, call me girl!:)

To Be Continued

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Shannon says:

    I have loved walking down memory lane with you. I have watched you grow in so many ways over the years. I am glad that you are exactly where God wants you to be.

    On another note, the youth pastor at our church here in Jackson was born and raised in Wasilla, AK and he and his wife know Sarah Palin. WBBJ even interviewed them on Saturday. But I think I already told you that. So, if you are serious about going to work for her, I can make some calls!!!

  2. Ryan says:

    Love the blog series, by the way! Glad to hear you aren’t leaving any time soon 😉

  3. Catherine Fore says:

    Hey ALCW! I’m really enjoying your blog. I of course love reading about your experiences in Saxby’s office and I feel the same. What an amazing time! I often wish I could rewind and pause on that experience! But, time marches on!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s