September 11 Digital Archive

lc_story180.xml

Title

lc_story180.xml

Source

born-digital

Media Type

story

Created by Author

yes

Described by Author

no

Date Entered

2003-12-31

LC Story: Story

I was sitting in class at the United States Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. I normally worked in the Pentagon as a civilian employee for the Army Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, but was on a one-year training assignment and had been up in Carlisle for about a month. Someone ran into the classroom and told us to turn on the television, which we did. It was just in time to watch the live broadcast of the second plane flying into the World Trade Center. As we watched in horror, each of us in the classroom immediately knew that this was terrorism and that it would have a huge impact on our lives as Americans and as members of the Army. I felt absolutely sick inside. We watched TV for a while, and then class was dismissed for the day and I went home to continue watching the television coverage.

LC Story: Memory

As I was watching the coverage of the plane crashing into the Pentagon, they showed a diagram of the Pentagon and where the plane had hit. Two weeks before I left for school, my agency had moved from one side of the Pentagon to the newly renovated section. With a very sick feeling, I realized that the plane had hit directly into our new area. What had happened to all my friends and co-workers? I frantically started calling people at home, but all the lines to the Washington, DC area were busy. I finally got a hold of someone around midnight, and she started naming the names of the missing. All in all, 26 of my co-workers were killed and many more injured. These were people I saw and worked with every day. They were mothers, fathers, friends, sisters, brothers, and children, all lost while serving our country. I will never forget that gut-wrenching feeling when I realized it was my area that had been hit and the guilt I felt that my friends and co-workers were there and I wasn't.

LC Story: Affects

September 11th showed America that even though we have it pretty good in this country, not all is well with the rest of the world and there are a lot of people who hate America and would like to see us destroyed. We are vulnerable and not as invincible as we would like to think. We are spending huge amounts of money trying to make the country safe again, and it will never be as long as people hate us enough to become human bombs. Poverty is the world's greatest weapon of mass destruction. If the United States put more money and effort into improving the lives of people who have no hope, maybe the world wouldn't be so resentful of our affluence. We have enough to spread around. No, we did not deserve what happened on September 11th, but I wish it should make us more humble instead of more arrogant.

As for me personally, I am much more aware of my own mortality. I don't work as hard or as long hours as I used to. I want to enjoy life, my friends, and my family as much as possible, because who knows what tomorrow will bring? I have made a conscious effort to volunteer my time to help out the elderly and others who need help. If we would all help each other out a little bit, it would make the world a lot better place.

Citation

“lc_story180.xml,” September 11 Digital Archive, accessed April 7, 2020, https://911digitalarchive.org/items/show/180.