Cliff Rieders did not feel fear when the missile exploded overhead.
Nor at the second. Or the third.
"Disbelief is the first sensation, and then anger and frustration that you can't do anything about it," the local attorney said about what he experienced during a recent two-week trip to Israel.
Rieders has an emotional stake in that country, which is in embroiled in a bloody and historic conflict with militant Palestinians and Islamic extremists over the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. His 23-year-old daughter, Kaila, a graduate of Williamsport Area High School, just volunteered to serve in the Israeli army. She begins active duty in late August, but in what capacity still is unknown.
"Why did she decide to do this?" Rieders said. "Well, because she's a very proud and patriotic person. She's proud about America, democracy and Judaism. She believes in walking the walk and she loves life in Israel and what the country stands for."
Rieders made the trip with his wife Kim. When they were at their daughter's apartment in Jerusalem, the first missile was blown out of the sky.
"We could hear sirens wailing very clearly," signifying an impending strike, Rieders said. "After the sirens stopped, Kaila tapped me on the soldier, pointed at me and said 'Listen.' And five seconds later, we heard a boom that the shook the whole building."
That was the sound of Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system intercepting the incoming rocket.
Rieders witnessed it again at a restaurant near a beach in Ashdode and then a third time while driving on a highway into Jerusalem.
"It's the same sensations every time," he said. "You say to yourself, 'What did I - a civilian - do, that someone wants to kill me?' I was just amazed that it was happening and that the West tolerates it, and has tolerated it for so long. But I was struck by how cool my daughter was."
Though Rieders expressed disappointment at how the last few U.S. presidential administrations have handled the conflict, he considers himself an optimist.
"When Western democracies unite to annihilate terrorism, it will be gone," he said. "There has to be a unified approach. Terrorism has to be contained and destroyed and we have to cut off their finances. Too many western countries benefit financially from those relationships. We need to be energy and financially independent. We really are tied up with them."
Rieders said the ongoing conflict is rooted in religious intolerance on the part of Hamas - a militant strain of fundamentalist Islam - and other organizations like it.
"What do they hate about Israel?" Rieders said. "They hate that women and Arab people can walk around freely, and gay and black people. What we take for granted as modern, they think is a violation of their religion. What we think good about democracy, they think is disrespectful and evil. Democracy is a dirty word to them."
Rieders said that fundamentalist Islam "regards women and children as instruments of war."
"Just as they regarded commercial airplanes as instruments of war on 9/11," he said.
Like any parent whose child has gone to war, Rieders has his anxieties, but he said he understands his daughter's decision and her love of Israel.
Rieders is no stranger to the country. He's traveled there over a dozen times and has ancestral connections in the area. Relatives on his mother's side survived the Holocaust and moved to Israel after World War II ended to start a new life.
"The thing that is so great about Israel is the people," he said. "It's a bastion of democracy."
Invoking Bob Dylan's "Neighborhood Bullies," Rieders called the country a paradise.
"A paradise amidst a sea of hate," he said.