Monday, September 10, 2012

September 11

Same post as last year.  Same feeling of sadness.


THE PENTAGON
SEPTEMBER 11, 2001



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 my destination, 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.

19 comments:

  1. Thanks for posting again. I heard today about how many have cancer who were rescuers or lived near there, from the debris. The effect continues.

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  2. oh my gosh, this is just such a chilling reminder of the horrors of that day, I agree, we all watched in horror not wanting to see yet afraid to not, your memories and history with the Pentagon must make this even more devastating, thank you for this post,

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  3. the memories of that day are still vivid in my mind too. I remember every detail like it was yesterday.

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  4. Beautiful post, Bonnie. Hope you do it EVERY year!!!!! Let's NEVER EVER forget.
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  5. I remember well and we never forget too
    This day the world was different that we know so sad!

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  6. Amen and amen... loved this last year and it still rings truth... I will not forget. blessings ~ tanna

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  7. We must always, always remember, no matter how many years pass.

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  8. i watched CNN for days and when i got tired of crying, i would turn it off. but soon it was back on because the horror of it all would not leave my mind.

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  9. So sad.. right now on my CDN TV..we are remembering solemnly that tragic day..with vivid images..that will stay with us forever and a day.

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  10. It is definitely a sad date that no one will forget. I'm sure it seems incredible to you, that the place you had worked came under attack. We were in Hawaii then, and the island emptied of tourists so quickly it was amazing!

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  11. I think...nobody is going to forget.... it's impossible to forget that day..... Hugs and blessings to you and to your great wonderful country , ciao Flavia

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  12. I think we all will always have the feeling of sadness on this day. Like most horrible attacks against mankind we must never forget. We may heal, but we should never forget. Bonnie

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  13. The memories are vivid in my mind too. We were living out of the country at the time, but happened to be vacationing in NC when it happened. I was so glad I was in the US. It would not have felt right to be away in someone else's country.
    Sam

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  14. As others have said above, I will never forget gathering around the TV watching the horror. My parents were there the day before, and on a plane to DC on 9/11 when it all happened and the airports shut down. They had to find a rental car to drive home to Iowa in the midst of the chaos of the Pentagon bombing. Believe it or not, they are in NYC today again for another visit! We live in a great country that we should all celebrate and be proud of.

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  15. It is such an eerie thought to put oneself in the shoes of the employees of the Pentagon, to have actually walked the halls and sat in those offices makes it so much more real. It all seems like a horrible movie or a bad nightmare but it really did happen. Horrendous. I'm glad that you are reposting this.

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