Pentagon Post 9/11

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This edition is dedicated in memory of those lost during the attacks on the twin World Trade Center towers, in the fields of Pennsylvania and on and in the Pentagon.  I include the passengers and crews who gave their lives in the four attacks.  A plane from Dulles IAP came down the I-395 corridor, clipped some highway lamp posts near the Navy Annex and plunged into the west side of the Pentagon.  The Navy Annex sits on a knoll west of the Pentagon (where these pictures were taken).   September 11, 2001, just another morning at the DoD Explosives Board (DDESB) located in the Huffman Building #1, just inside the I-495 beltway, and about 5 miles south of the Pentagon.  The Secretariat was to brief the incoming US Army Board member concerning the operations of the DDESB and the Secretariat.  The meeting was scheduled for 0900 (9AM for those not familiar with military time).  Traveling from the Pentagon, the US Army Board member was late and the meeting was delayed until his arrival.  As we started the meeting, we were interrupted by an urgent call informing us the Pentagon had been hit by an “airplane” and was being evacuated.  At first it was thought to be a light aircraft and had crashed into the river entrance of the Pentagon.  Subsequence news told a far darker story which is now history. Make shift memorials were made by local citizens on the knoll side of the Navy Annex. The memorials grew daily and many were from friends and relatives of the military members who were injured or perished in the attacks. International groups contributed their memorials in the out pouring of sorrow and sympathy. A story on the local news included a taxi driver who had just dropped off a rider at the Ronald Reagan National Airport and was taking a different road back to DC because of the traffic.  Near the west side of the Pentagon, he experienced a lamp post flying through the air and penetrating his passenger side windshield.  He abandoned his taxi in-place and ran all the way back to DC.  He was present but never saw the aircraft.  He concentrated on getting away from his damaged cab and until he heard the news of the airplane plunging into the Pentagon did he realize the lamp post was one clipped by the airplane.  People added their personal messages to the memorials to express their sorrow and support for those who were sacrificed in the attacks. People left mementos, flowers, lit candles and other artifacts to show their love and care for those who died. School children shared their thanks for the responders.  A group of young students from the DC area, on a National Geographic trip, were on-board the aircraft that departed from Dulles IAP and was plunged into the Pentagon.  The parent of one at least one student worked in the Pentagon. For several days and weeks, people came to see the devastation at the Pentagon and pay their respects to those who were lost or injured. For days and weeks, the news media were present and carried the news to all, both near and far.  The Discovery Channel is currently showing “Attack on the Pentagon” and engineering reviews of why the WTC towers collapsed.  Check your local cable listings or obtain a tape through the Discovery Channel. As an example of our resolve and desires of the people who work in the Pentagon, the repairs to the Pentagon were completed within the year since that day in 2001.  I took this and the next photo just days before I retired from the DDESB. Most of the scars on the building are gone, but the scars in lives linger - may we never forget those who we memorialize and the price they paid so we may live.  Especially remember those who gave their lives in the fields of Pennsylvania.  They negated a fourth attack on our nation. Less we forget - many were lost and these times have changed our daily lives.  To those who died or were injured, our hearts go out to you and your families.  Take time to reflect on where you were and the thoughts you had that day - September 11, 2001.  God has a plan - their lives and our lives are all part of it.