I recall vividly the horrific 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
On September 11, 2001, I was the civilian administrative
officer of a Defense Department command in Philadelphia, where I oversaw
security, safety and other programs.
That morning I was sitting in my office on a naval base in Philadelphia when one of our people stopped in and told me a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center.
"Accident or terrorism?" I asked.
When we later learned that a second aircraft crashed into the World Trade Center, we knew we were under attack. Our commander, a U.S. Army colonel, sent all of our military and civilian employees home, as he didn’t know if, when or where another attack might occur.
I remained at the base, along with the colonel and his deputy, and the three of us monitored the situation via the media and the classified communication equipment in my office.
I remember the shock and dismay we felt when we learned that our headquarters, the Pentagon, was also attacked.
My security job more than doubled from that day
until the day I retired from the Defense Department in 2007.
I later wrote a piece for Counterterrorism magazine on the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon.
You can read the piece below:
Note: The top photo of the Pentagon after the 9/11 attack was released by the National Security Agency.