Maya, the Reading Dog Wonder

maya-and-tot-2Hello Friends,

I was so excited today. I caught our three-legged Chihuahua, Maya, reading our book Triumph Over Terror.

Maya saw K-9 Officer Rio reading Triumph Over Terror  last week, and she decided to check it out for herself. Smart dog.

Maya also gave the book a 5-Woof Rating. Can’t get any better than that.

Check out the 27  5-star ratings on Amazon my human readers gave the book! Add your own to the mix. The book is going gang-busters, and we are happy about that.


Bob and Jan



Remembering the Heroes of 9-11

A special “thank-you” goes out to our friends at Margate Community Church in Margate City, NJ for hosting Chaplain Bob Ossler and his “Remembering the Heroes of 9-11” talk on Friday night, September 16.

Bob was guest speaker at the regular MCC “Third Friday” event. MCC hosted a cook-out with hamburgers, hot dogs, and all kinds of delicious picnic foods.

We had a nice crowd to help us celebrate the publication of Triumph Over Terror, Bob’s reflections on his experiences as a volunteer chaplain at Ground Zero.


Bob met up with retired Farmington, NJ Station 15-4 firefighter Skip Ritchie and swapped firefighting stories. Skip is a regular at Margate Community Church and inspires us all with his level of energy and commitment to serving in the church. And besides, he makes the best pancakes at our bi-annual pancake breakfasts.mgcc-bob-and-skip

Of course, no dinner at Margate Community Church is complete without the outstanding desserts that members bring. Desserts galore filled the table, with more in the kitchen ready to serve. Kay Myers made her special coconut lemon cake for her own birthday.  Happy Birthday, Kay!


And here comes Bill Busch with his famous trifle!


Lucky us, we had many delicious desserts left for Sunday morning coffee hour. MCC has the best cooks!

And Bob talked and talked….and gave out hugs and more hugs… and signed copies of Triumph Over Terror.


Thanks everyone for making this Third Friday event such a special evening.

Next month’s special guests for Third Friday will be Kathryn and Ed Ross, dramatists, who will present a Wild West skit, “There’s Gold in Them Thar Hills.”  Wear your cowboy and cowgirl duds to this event!

Janice Hall Heck





Exhausted Chaplain – September 11 Photo Project


Long after midnight, as I trudged off the Pile at Ground Zero in 2001 and headed to St. Paul’s Chapel for some much needed food and rest, I heard a voice call out of the darkened, ash-filled air.

I turned, and photographer Mary Gepana Eble took the picture in this photo below.


I didn’t know her at the time, but she tracked me down a few months later and sent me an album of her photos from Ground Zero. I treasured those photos and showed them to many people over the years.

This year, as I worked on the manuscript of Triumph Over Terror, I showed this picture to my writing partner, Janice Hall Heck.

“We have to find Mary and get permission to use the picture in our book!” she said.

But I only remembered that Mary was from California.

We Tweeted. We put messages on Facebook. We searched the Internet. We called old New York friends and friends of friends. No luck. No Mary.

Then I took one picture out of the album and turned it over. And there it was. Mary’s address.

One telephone call later, Bob told Mary about our writing project, and she agreed to let us use the picture. This photo was part of a traveling exhibit of the September 11 Photo Project. The photos now rest in the archives of the New York City Library.

There’s more.

On Friday night of last week, September 9, 2016, we held a Book Launch for Triumph Over Terror at the Cumberland County Community Church in Millville, NJ, where I am Pastor of Visitation. Fifteen minutes before the program start time, in walks Mary Gepana Eble. She flew from California to be at this special event. What a great surprise. (Jan was in on the secret but kept her silence).


Now this week, Mary is in New York visiting family members, and she tracked down the original photo at the New York City Library and took a picture of the photo, retrieved from the archives by a helpful librarian.

Thank you, Mary. You touched my heart with your surprise visit and now this photo of the original photo you took fifteen years ago.

Tonight, September 13, 2016, Mary posted this photo on Facebook.

“I wrote this note on the back of my firefighter image of Bob Ossler Chaplain that is now part of the Sept 11 Photo Project.”








9-11 Ground Zero Heroes

Hi, Dear Friends. I was given the privilege of speaking at the Millville, NJ 911 Memorial Service with some fine dignitaries. I shared one of the stories about Ground Zero Heroes out of our book, Triumph Over Terror.

Chaplain Dan Schafer photo
Chaplain Dan Schafer photo

First responders, emergency workers, firefighters, police officers, construction workers, search and rescue teams, search and recovery teams, and all the volunteers associated with the war-zone clean-up of ruin and loss–these were the true Ground Zero Heroes. Showing strength deep within their souls, these men and women embodied the definition of endurance, heart, and true grit.

These heroes worked long hours during the day and then worked more hours at night under blazing lights. Committed to teamwork, they worked to the point of exhaustion and beyond, single-minded in purpose and laser-focused on the job at hand. After the hope of finding survivors faded, they doggedly searched for remains of friends and civilians.

Danger surrounded them. Cave-ins occurred without warning. The air they breathed contained not only the stench of death, but also asbestos particles, fiberglass splinters, glass fibers, toxic chemicals, and incinerated human remains–air that could poison their futures.

Quiet and unassuming, the word “quit” did not exist in the Ground Zero Heroes’ vocabulary. They measured time not in billable hours, but how well they accomplished each job.

Some didn’t like the label “hero.” Many brushed it off, insisting, “I’m just doing my job,” or “I’m too busy to think of that nonsense.” In a place where others lost their lives, some refused to be called heroes.

A few said, “It’s hard to be called a hero when you feel so beaten down and demoralized.” But these folks rose up out of the ashes and served well. They deserve to be called heroes.

It was truly an honor to share with the Millville Fire Department, Police Department, Emergency Services, and the people of Millville, NJ.

Triumph Over Terror is at Bogart’s Book Store on 103 High Street, Millville, NJ or on Amazon. The Kindle version of the book is available now for preorder and will be out September 15. It will be in bookstores around the country soon.



Thanks again and God bless you folks. Bob Ossler Chaplain

K-9 Officer Rio Gives 5-Woof Rating

This news story just breaking.

K-9 Officer Rio and his handler Officer John Butschky  of the Millville, NJ Police Department, read Chaplain Bob Ossler’s book, Triumph Over Terror, and give it a five-woof rating. Perhaps that will earn Officer Rio five doggies treats. Yes?


Thanks for the great review,  Officers Rio and John.

God bless you guys. Bob Ossler Chaplain — at Cumberland County Community Church.

Officer Rio report: You can find Triumph Over Terror online at Woof. Woof.

9-11 Tribute: #Never Forget

#Never forget those brave heroes and citizens of our country who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on September 11, 2001.


Firefighters – Everyday Heroes

Chief Michael Lippincott‘s Millville, NJ fire crew responded to a child who was injured in a bike accident. As the child was being treated by Millville NJ Rescue Squad, the firefighters fixed the damaged bicycle for the child.


I applaud these men for service from the heart. God bless you guys.

Bob Ossler Chaplain — at Cumberland County Community Church.

Out of the Ashes – One World Trade Center, 2016


On the 15th Anniversary of 9-11 Terrorist Attacks

For more photos and reflections on 9-11 preview Triumph Over Terror by Chaplain Bob Ossler and Janice Hall Heck.Click here to preview Triumph Over Terror on Amazon.


See also Janice Heck’s website.







Weekly Photo Challenge: Sept 11 Mirror

How Triumph Over Terror Became a Book

Every book has a backstory…that is, how it came to be.


The germination of Chaplain Bob Ossler’s book, Triumph Over Terror, started at a writers critique group where Bob told about his 9-11 experiences at Ground Zero in New York City. The members of the group were spellbound. We insisted that Bob get to work on writing his story. And the rest is history…

This post, Blog Your Book? Why Not Email It!, from Janice Hall Heck’s website shares a bit more information and also an excerpt from the Preface of the book.

Click here to preview Triumph Over Terror on Amazon.