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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Where have you been?

Todd Shipman, a member of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Chatham, N.J., and a financial analyst in lower Manhattan, had a serendipitous encounter during his commute back to work a week after the Sept. 11 attack.

"As I walked home from the train station a woman burst out of her house and came running up to me to give me a big hug. Her husband and children soon ran up too," Shipman said. "After more hugs, handshakes and introductions, they breathlessly told me how worried they were. For years I had walked to and from the station past their house, and since they hadn't seen me since Sept. 11, they feared I was among the many people missing from our commuter-laden towns."

Shipman said the strain of their weeklong vigil and elation at seeing him was obvious. "I was touched and humbled to think that they cared so much about a stranger whom they knew only enough to wave to and exchange greetings," he said. "Their reaction — to come out and touch me, to share their tears and joy — says a lot about how much the tragic events of Sept. 11 have changed us."


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