Saturday, September 10, 2011

September 11, 1941 - September 11, 2001

Same post.  Same sense of sadness. 

September 11, 2001
The Pentagon
Google Image

September 11, 2001 was a beautiful day.  The morning was cool, clear and crisp--still summer but feeling like autumn.  As I drove through the countryside to Valparaiso, I was listening to a book on tape. To this day, I don't remember the name of the book but it was about a handful of survivors of a plane crash in Georgia--or was it North Carolina?

When I arrived at The Book Bag, a wonderful independent bookstore, I didn't even notice the gloomy faces that greeted me.  I think my cheerful greeting told them that I didn't know what had happened.  And so they told me that a plane had flown into one of the buildings at the World Trade Center.  Terrible I thought!  We gathered around the radio as the second tower was hit.  My thought was that something had to be wrong with the air traffic control system in the NYC area.  It wasn't until the newscaster, in a voice filled with disbelief, said that there were reports that a plane had flown into The Pentagon.  That was the first time  I realized something terrible was occurring.  

As most people did, I spent the rest of that day and the next and the next glued to television, radio, computer.  I didn't want to hear more, but I was afraid not to hear.

And while all the news and images were beyond belief and horrible, I felt the most connected to The Pentagon.  American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the west side of the building.  It tore through three of the five rings:  rings E, D and C.  All aboard the plane perished as did over 100 people in The Pentagon.  It was exactly sixty years to the day after  ground was broken to build The Pentagon. 

I worked at The Pentagon--Headquarters USAF--as a civilian legislative analyst for over five years.  My last office was on the E ring--the outer ring, the first one penetrated.  I could, in my mind's eye, see the destruction that I wasn't seeing on television.  I could imagine the horror.  I wondered if those present when the plane hit thought, like I had, they were working in a place that would never be threatened.  A place impervious to attack.  One of the safest places on earth to work.  And I felt a deep sorrow for all the lives lost in all three places.  And I will never forget.


  1. None of us will ever forget this horrific day against our beautiful country.
    It had to have really hurt you to see the Pentagon destroyed in this way. Like you so many thought of it as being the safest place ever to work.
    My heart still hurts for all the families who lost so much on this day in America.
    God Bless America and you for doing this post again.

  2. I had never read that detail about the Pentagon's anniversary. Such irony we find. To say September 11 was a violation to the country is an understatement. For you to see your workplace -- the safest place to work -- so damaged must have indeed hurt. Our collective hearts continue to ache for all those who lost so much that day. Thank you for the post.

  3. Never will forget.

    I gather since you worked there you then can envision what sections were hit.

    I pray for all of us.

  4. No one will forget..

    Following the news here..

    I never knew that fact either.
    I think each and everyone of us remembers what we were doing that day..the circumstances.. the moment..s.

  5. What a day, something that none of us will ever forget. Thank you for sharing your personal view.

  6. I will not forget either, Bonnie. Well said. Well said. blessings ~ tanna

  7. That awful day is etched in all of our memories but to have worked in one of the very places that was hit then must have been especially horrific for you.

  8. we were out shopping and stopped for gas and when i went inside to pay, everyone was staring up at the TV. we came home and watched all day, shopping forgotten at the horror.

  9. A very sad time..not only sad but painful..still. And passing the 10th anniversary doesn't change the fact that they still want Americans dead...

    I did not know it was also the pentagons anniversary! They have the National Guard at LI train stations..we will never forget...

  10. I remember that day it was afternoon...and I shall never forget.... tomorrow I'm going to post my very little tribute for all of you.... God bless you..... hugs, Flavia

  11. An awful day for all of us. Now I hear they are planning something for tomorrow.

  12. I remember that horrible day so it was yesterday. It's hard to believe it's been 10 years.

    Very poignant post, Bonnie.

    Blessings to you,

  13. Wow what a powerful post! Terrible times. Thoughts and love to all xx

  14. It is not something we can forget.
    The images are there in the backs of our minds because have emotions tied to this day no matter where we were or what we were doing on the morning.


  15. Bonnie, this is a beautiful piece to help us remember. I cannot imagine how it would have been for you with the details and feelings that would go with having worked in the Pentagon. Thank you for reposting this.


  16. Seeing all the news footage over the weekend has brought back terrible memories of that awful day. I start to cry every time I see all that destruction. The question now is what have we learned from all that? Sometimes I think "not enough."

  17. I really didn't watch too much of the memorials today. It's just too hard. My oldest did see a replay of the towers falling, and she just looked at me, speechless. I said it all happened ten years ago, before she was born. How do you explain this evil to an almost 9 year old?


  18. That morning will forever be etched on everyone's mind who was old enough to be aware. It's hard to believe 10 years have passed--a heartbeat and an eternity.

  19. Bonnie, I was the woman whose friend's son was killed at the Pentagon. I can't tell you why, I didn't feel like putting that out to the universe. I had given Steve my daughter's 3 y.o. miniature schnauzer. Katia was a wonderful little dog that was going to give me a nervous breakdown. She went to Germany with Steve and his wife two times. She was Steve's dog. Two weeks to the hour Steve was killed, Katia went in and laid down on his side of the bed and died. We all were forever changed. Many Blessings ~ Sandi

  20. Very good post and tribute to the martyrs who died because of the crazed terrorists. We will never forget~


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