Pentagon 9/11 Story on PBS 9/6

Discussion in 'Academy/Military News' started by Capt MJ, Sep 6, 2016.

  1. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    I had the honor of working as part of the team to recover and re-staff the Chief of Naval Operations staff and spaces. Hard to watch, but this captured what I experienced that day and in the following days. That was some of the best work I ever did in uniform, and my colleagues' work was extraordinary. I have been able to see some advance clips. It's very well-done.

    http://www.pbs.org/program/911-inside-pentagon/

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/life...9e3e52-713c-11e6-9705-23e51a2f424d_story.html
     
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  2. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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    God I remember that day as if it was yesterday. I was picking up the mail for the office at the PO as I usually came in early after dropping kids at school especially on such a beautiful day. Heard on the radio that the first plane had hit. Went into the break room and turned on the TV and saw the second one go in. They then showed pictures of the White House and the camera suddenly turned to the southwest toward a large plume of smoke. I told my secretary "that is the direction of the Pentagon, We are at war with someone".
     
  3. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I saw that PBS special. I strongly suggest to anyone that they watch it. At 1 point they interviewed a reporter and they said what was unique about the Pentagon on that day was (paraphrasing) for most people when something like that occurs people run away from the building to safety, but because these were military members their training kicked in and ran towards the building to save people.

    I knew we were at war with someone by 10 a.m. cst. We were at Leavenworth (Bullet was in CGSC). I dropped the kids off for school, and then went out the front gate to go to WalMart, normal...normal, you can see that if they had their military tags (blue/green/red, etc) on the windshield they were waived right on post...no i.d. check. Came back by 10, and they had Jersey barriers up (serpentine). MPs with long handheld mirrors to check under your car. Dogs walking around the cars, and of course the BIG GUNS strapped across their body and body armor vests. The minute I saw that I thought to myself the last time I saw this occur was for Gulf 1 back in 91/92.
     
  4. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    I was traveling and couldn't watch the PBS special but my spouse said it was exceptionally well done.
     
  5. parentalunit2

    parentalunit2 Parent

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    I have heard that the special is excellent, but most likely cannot bring myself to watch it. The anniversary never gets any easier, does it? I knew three people in New York and two in the Pentagon. But I mourn all of the victims each and every year.
     
  6. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    Uniformed people were the first responders. Someone who is now a retired Navy flag officer repeatedly entered the burning area to get people out; he earned the Navy and Marine Corps Medal. He coughed his lungs out in my office for weeks after that and mourned those he could not get to. Many others did so as well, civilians too. Military folks found fire axes and were using them. A Navy E-3 grabbed a Pentagon electric cart and ferried wounded to triage area, on his own inititiative. We nominated him out of all Navy responders that day to go sit with First Lady at State of the Union. You have military people near a fire, especially Navy, and they automatically kick into damage control mode. Arlington FD and PD arrived and took over, but phenomenal rescue work was done. The Navy chaplains were having a conference or some kind of meeting up the hill at Chief of Navy Personnel offices. They came pelting down the hill and were in the thick of it all with the wounded and the rest of us.

    I felt like a limp wash rag after watching it, but felt good the story was told. My shirt was strangely damp.
     
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  7. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    My spouse said the stories about the folks in the interior who understood another plane was coming in (turned out that it was US military) who knew they couldn't get out and knelt down to pray was particularly moving.
     
  8. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    I will never forget my LDO (prior enlisted) Admin Officer who talked himself back into the building and the Arlington PD to escort him back to his smoke-filled office to get the OPNAV CACO Book. CACO = Casualty Assistance Calls Officer Program. It was the list of all the CACO-trained officers on staff, key program action lists, chaplain duty rosters, etc. He knew we would be needing these very soon. He then went to work at the triage site, never went home (like most of us), and was part of the team the next few days getting the classified material out, alongside the experts carefully removing remains. He looked like a walking pile of ashes. I had to order him to stand down, found a Navy Master Chief Corpsman to take him in tow. Ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

    One of the more interesting things was the Navy History and Heritage Command coming out in teams to take oral histories. I'd be interested to read mine at this point.
     

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