September 11 Digital Archive: XML Document

Story:My office is on the 10th floor of a building just a mile due south of the Pentagon. I was working in my office when my wife called to say a plane had flown into one of the World Trade Center buildings in New York. I rushed next door to my partner's office, turned on his television, and saw the second plane fly into the other tower. The tower was obviously targeted and our country was under some form of terrorist attack. Like all Americans I was glued to the television not believing what I was seeing.

As I was sitting in the office watching the horrific aftermath in New York, I saw a large fireball on the horizon north of our office building. Immediately I knew the terror had spread to Washington and we started to evacuate our employees from the building. I left the office around 11:00 am to work my way through the traffic to get home. Inroute, my wife called to tell me my best friend and best man in our wedding was the pilot of the American Airlines plane that went into the Tower in New York. She told me his wife Sheri was hysterical and needed me at her home right away. It was not until later that afternoon we found out that my dear friend Chic Burlingame was indeed one of the poor souls sacrificed that day. However, his plane was flown into the Pentagon, not the Tower in New York. It was his plane that created the fireball I had seen on the horizon that morning. His loss remains heavy on my heart, but his bravery that day will live forever.

BWWhitman

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