Give your story a title.... My memory of Sept. 11th and the months to follow
It started all so normal, my wife of 4 months was working the red eye flight from LAX to Dulles with American Airlines. I don't remember what time her flight landed but it was while I was leaving our home in Maryland to head to work at the Pentagon. She got home safely and was beat from the long flight working and she went to sleep. I started my day at 6 am and a few hours into the shift started hearing the news about the World Trade Center and later both of them being hit. I was an electrician finishing up the wing of the Pentagon that was hit. Luckily it was not fully moved into yet which helped save many lives. After our 9 am break it was back to work while keeping an eye on all the TV's that had coverage of the Trade Centers on them. Next thing we know...BOOM...the building shook and a loud explosion happened. Our first thought was "was that a transformer that blew up" and right next to that side of the Pentagon was a helicopter landing pad "did a helicopter just crash?" After making it out of the office we were in and out into the hallway we could tell that neither of those seemed to be the issue.
People running and going crazy trying to get out. We joined in with trying to escape, we did have a stairwell that was not yet open to everyone that we knew about so we went that way. This next part I remember so well and I'm not sure why but I jumped from the 3rd floor to the half landing and from the half landing to the 2nd floor in one jump. It hurt but the adrenaline was there to make the hurt go away. As I got out and started moving away from the building it was known at this time that it was an airplane. Things started to get scary at this point because you had time to think. I called my wife and woke her up, she was still half asleep and I told her a plane hit (at this moment she interrupted me and said she heard about the plane in New York already) I told her to shut up and listen to me. At this point that got her attention, I said a plane just hit us here at the Pentagon. I'm ok and I'm out of the building, I just wanted to let you know and then cell phone service pretty much STOPPED. As we were wondering where to go we started hearing rumors, this was pretty much the scariest part of it all. We heard Sears Tower was down, Eiffel Tower was down, and more in the air and one was heading our way. At this point we made our way over to Arlington National Cemetery because we were hoping that a plane wouldn't hit there. After a few hours go by we get the call asking if we are willing to help with the temporary power hookups and generators that were rolling in throughout the rest of the day. We were all absolutely on board and ended up staying there until mid-day of Sept. 12th.
During this time I got one or two calls into my phone and one or two out. I was not able to drive home because my lunch box was located directly where the plane hit and my keys were in it. Over the next few weeks and months I was there 7 days a week mostly working the night shift. I was invited back to the one year memorial as well. I have only been back once since then and it was to show my 3 daughters the site.