InsideNoVa asked Facebook readers to submit their memories of 9/11. This is a slightly edited selection of some of their powerful stories from that tragic day 20 years ago.
Children stuck between river and highway
On the day of the attack, I went looking for my wife, Brenda, in the north parking lot staging area (she was working at the Pentagon on the opposite side of the crash). Fortunately, I found it, but no one was allowed to leave because there were concerns that another hijacked plane was arriving.
We were in the park just east of where the kids from the Pentagon daycare were evacuated. … Several of us grabbed the children, some still in cribs that had been moved there from the daycare, and carried them across the George Washington Parkway, scaling the guardrail in the middle of the freeway. , until we reach the banks of the Potomac River. It was as far as we could flee.
No incoming planes materialized, but now those 15 or 20 children, ages 1 to 5, were stuck between a river and a highway. While my wife and colleagues, along with the daycare staff, looked after the children on the narrow strip of land between the freeway and the river, I and a special agent from Virginia ABC spent the rest of the day. day buying diapers, formula and juice for these children, which we obtained from the Salvation Army command post in the south parking lot.
As a federal agent, I requisitioned a commuter bus descending the GW Parkway to transport children and daycare workers to the Virginia Department of Transportation Regional Center on Columbia Pike, across from the annex of the Marine. Children were brought inside the center, pizzas were ordered for those who were not infants, and a telephone bank was established to contact their parents and let them know the whereabouts of their children. Several of the children lost their parents in the Pentagon crash that day. “
– Karl Glasbrenner
Fortunately, not on time
I lost eight colleagues that day. I would have been nine if I wasn’t late for work.
I was driving to work and heard on the radio. My best friend, Jamie Fallon, had just been transferred to the Pentagon. I spent all working day trying to call her office phone. Jamie didn’t make it. She was the best friend I will ever have, 23 with a 7 month old baby at the time. I miss her every day.
– LeAnda Garrison
Become “the enemy”
My family and I were fundamentally the enemy because of our faith and the horrible people who twisted it. My mom was too scared to leave home for weeks.
– Fadi Ibnfawzi Altarabuolsi
“We were all crying”
I was on the seventh floor of the Ronald Reagan Building [in downtown Washington] receive a cash advance for my TDY [temporary duty travel] in Egypt which was to start the next day. The head of the office came out and told his floor to evacuate. I went back down to the third floor, where we were told to shelter in place.
We all turned on CNN… cell service seemed to be blocked. After a while, a guard ran across the ground shouting, “We are targeted! Get out! ”We later found out that they thought another plane was heading for the nearby White House.
The metro was then very quiet. I went down to Vienna to collect my car. Dozens of us stood on the walkway over Interstate 66. Every lane of traffic to DC was filled with fire trucks, ambulances, and police cars and each town’s sheriff’s office and county around. We were all crying.
– Lynn Walker
A first day like no other
It was my first day of freshman at Stonewall Jackson High School. I had just moved from California and started school a week and a day after everyone else. The principal came to the intercom to tell us that we were in lockdown and that the teachers could turn on the televisions because they had just been informed of a national security issue. Until further notice, no one has been allowed to leave the classrooms and parents have been called.
What seemed to me a few minutes later, we learned that the Pentagon had been hit and I quickly learned which classmates had close relatives working there. Talk about a first day of welcome to a new school and a new state.
The tears were still so present, the strangers hugged and the lessons put aside and we just talked. The look of panic and fear of those who had families or friends in the Pentagon or in New York will never fade from my memory.