Thursday, September 17, 2009

ABC Sept. 11 Video

3:28pm Ann Compton from Nebraska

ABC 3:32pm "anonymous law enforcement officials confirm it was American Airlines Flight 77 from Dulles that crashed into the Pentagon"

3:34pm Injury Update 48 patients in hospital

3:36 George Stephanopoulos "the TWA Flight 800 bombing"

3:41 Peter Jennings "we learned a short while ago that United Airlines jet that was carrying 45 people, which crashed near Johnstown PA today, was, at least according to one US Congressman, James Muran, democrat from Virginia, who had had a Marine Corp briefing in Washington, he believes that that aircraft was intended originally, intending, by its highjackers, to go to Camp David, the presidential retreatr in the mountains of Maryland. And the crash site turns out to be about 85 miles northwest of Camp David."

3:42pm Peter Jennings "they have enough blood for now except for people with type O and RH negative blood, because they have a shortage of those"

3:43pm John Miller
"still trying to collate the number of people that they removed to so many different hospitals in two states, and now, because our burn centers here in New York, of which there are only three, have been overwhelmed---even in Canada."

3:45pm Bill Blakmore "after their first partial defeat this morning"

"triage in Manhattan Community College"

"when the north tower collapsed, parts of the top of it fell over all the way over here to the river"

"They are not letting the media get anywhere near the actual base of the teo towers themselves."

3:46pm Peter Jennings "Don Dahler did manage to get close to the base of the building, at one point earlier. Don are you there?"

3:46pm Don Dahler "Yes Peter, I'm here. I'm just back to about four blocks away. I was, I escorted a federal agent through the, ah, up to the side of the World Trade Center itself. And I can tell you it, it's probably the most horrible thing I've ever seen in my life. There is total devestation, but beyond that there,um, there's no non-gruesome way to describe this, but there were bodies and body parts on top of some buildings next to where the World Trade Center stood---in the streets. There is still a number of fires going on in buildings surrounding it, including [sound edit.] There is a, the Marriott building appears to be on fire. There is a building directly behind the federal office building, I can't identify which building it is, but it is a taller building, the police and the fireman are getting away from that area. They are afraid that building will collapse as well. There have been a couple of building collapses or portions of them collapsing from the flames. So there are some buidings they are just letting burn, to collapse, because it is too dangerous for them to fight it right now.

Clair Shipman 3:55pm

"At this moment, what has happened in terms of the Secret Service, is that their plan has gone into effect for this sort of emergency---the first time, we are told, that a plan like this has been implemented and in, in recent history. What it means is that they have all of their protectees accounted for. They are satisfied with that now. Now are told they are at Level 2, where they are assessing the threat , and they will then decide things, for example, as to whether Colin Powell can go back and safely work at the State Department and whether the President can come back to Washington. In the meantime, as you probably know, there has been a state of emergency declaired in the city of Washington, and in the state of Virginia, allowing both of those places to be able to mobilize military and police forces as needed, Peter."

John Miller 3:57pm
"This is something interesting in the laundry list of things that Karen Hughes, Counsoler to the President, said in the briefing we just looked at, which is, one is that airspace will remain shut down under government control until noon tomorrow, and that the movements of ships around the coasts will be regulated by the government. That suggests, I mean, we're talking about not a few hours, we're talking about half-way into the next day. That suggests that there is a real feeling in the intellegence community, and in Washington, that this may not be over, they don't want to let go of the assets like air traffic that they think could unleash even more attacks."

Peter Jennings: "I wonder John if there is a real feeling in the intellegence community that it may not be over or, God, we didn't know any of this was going on, maybe there is we don't have the vaguest idea what's going on."

John Miller: "Precisely, and it seems to be an abundence of caution, um, and some degree of fear."

Betsy Stark, business reporter for ABC

"ten percent of the office space in lower Manhattan is accounted for in those twin towers, 155 busineses, 50,000 workers...Morgan Stanley, the investment bank, has 50 floors in Tower One, 12-and-a-half percent of the space in that tower occupied by Morgan Stanley...Port Authority nine percent of the space there..."

Local D.C. coverage breaks in at 4pm
Kathleen Mattews and Maureen Bunyan

"We interupt ABC News with this local, 4 o'clock news update, as you take a live look at the Pentagon, six hours after what law enforcement sources say was a Boeing 757 American Airlines flight that crashed into this symbol of U.S. military might..."

"You're looking, sorry Kathleen, that was a scene from earlier today, nearly an hour ago, recue people were, rescue personel were still trying to get people out of the building, flames were still coming out, and, um, we understand that this has gone to a three-alarm blaze, and that fire officials from all over the Washington region have been called in to help fight the blaze. There are people still inside, ah, and, rescue attempts are still being made to get some of those people out.

"Now patients have been taken to hospitals throughout the area, not only has there been tremendous building carnage, but human costs as well, and we want to bring you up to date on where some of those folks have been taken. First of all, Virginia Hospital Center is reporting 30 injured from the Pentagon, Washington Hospital Center, five critical injuries, George Washington Hospital, two are now in the emergency room, and Alexandria Inova Hospital reports that they have recieved five patients in fair condition [graphic says nine in fair condition,] one in critical, one in good. And again, as Maureen said, these numbers continue to mount as the afternoon progresses."

"We also have some more information from ah, Parris Glendenning in Maryland. the govenour said the head of the state police in Maryland got a list of eleven sites across the country that were apparent targets of these terrorism attacks. Two of those sites were in Maryland, the Baltimore World Trade Center and the state capital in Annapolus, of course those sites have not been hit, but we're just sharing that information with you. Also Congressman James Moran in, ah, Virginia, says he recieved information today that that plane that crashed in Pennsylvania---here is some video of that, site---may have been heading for the presidential retreat at Camp David. Apparently, Mr. Moran says, that apparently, this hijacked plane went down in western Pennsylvania, it was meant to crash at Camp David, which of course is the presidential retreat."

"Now to understand the magnitude of this you have to imagine something like the Oklahoma City bombing, where you had a major federal building, such as the Pentagon, combined with a 757 airplane crash. That conveys the magnitude of what we are confronting here in the nation's capital. We'll continue to break in at about 4:30 we'll be back with more news and meanwhile we'll want to join ABC News in progress..." [4:03pm]

Peter Jennings: "the Greyhound Bus Service cancelled all of its service in the northeast. Amtrak, the railroad, temporarily suspended train service all along the northeast corridor, between Boston and Washington, and the U.S. section of the Saint Lawrence seaway, which is between northern New York state for the most part and Ontario, between the U.S. and Canadian borders there, has been closed. The tunnels between Detroit and Windsor on the Canadian side of the Detroit river, closed to car traffic, and security just went bang, up several levels at all U.S./Canadian border crossings, in large measure because there has been penetration across the U.S./Canadian border before, um, one of the ones they caught, when an alert agent several times picked up a guy when he thought to bomb the Seattle Space Needle. Turns out he was really interested in setting off a bomb inside Los Angeles International Airport. The space shuttle operations were halted today. 12,000 employees of the Kennedy Space Center in Florida were actually sent home. the navel weapons station in Goose Creek South Carolina workers were evacuated and sent there. Again, evacuations and people being sent home from the very heart of the military establishment. Betsy Stark has just told us that all U.S. financial markets were closed. The United Nations building was evacuated, here in New York City. General Motors, General Motors in Detroit gave all 6,000 workers who work in the Rennaisence Centers, one of those centers built to try and rejuvinate downtown Detroit, were all told to go home today, and the Ford Motor Company closed its world headquarters in Dearborn, in Michigan. The IRS in various places closed. The popular skyscrapers were closed and/or evacuated in all, in cities all across the country. I think you've already heard us say, if you've been with us, New York's primary election was cancelled here in New York, and Govenor Pataki said they'll simply rechedule it when they get another handle on normal life, in the days ahead. And tourist attractions, the best of tourist attractions, Nottsberry Farm in California, the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles and the Library Tower in Los Angeles, the Liberty Bell in Indepence Hall, the Space Needle, Disney World---they all closed down today. What, what better way, even though it's just a list of things---it is a list of things---to understanding, both at home and overseas. Embassies overseas were evacuated, embassies were closed. Tony Blair, the British prime minister, forbid aircraft from flying around London. So these two attacks on the trade towers, the one on the Pentagon, and the possibility of an attack on Camp David we now believe, in the aircraft that crashed not far from Johnstown, in Pennsylvania, all just pssst in this extraordinary impact all over the world because people feared something else was going to happen, and may still appear something else is going to happen. Listen, just listen, to some of what happened today."

"I saw something hit the second tower, and when I saw that, everthing went rumbled, and I saw all this fire shoot out in the sky, and stuff started falling, like it was raining. I was by myself, and I just ran. I started seeing people just, [breaks down] they started jumping out of the windows, like the 96th floor, one at a time, from different sides of the building, I just started seeing people drop, and drop, and drop."

RESPONSE TIME As Americans searched desperately for God, Campus Crusade for Christ staff members held out His hand.

Worldwide Challange NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2001 | VOLUME 28 | NUMBER 6

by Erik Segalini

Dmitry Huhlaev lit a thin, brown cigarette down at South Street Seaport, but it couldn't overpower the smell of another smoke—an unwelcome symbol of hopelessness. Wearing Bolle glasses, a Fossil watch and Kenneth Cole shoes, the outwardly successful man sat on a park bench and began to cry.

The 41-year-old had lost his close friend and lover, Madeline, in the World Trade Center attack. Today Dmitry had heard of another friend who just took her own life.

"I'm lost," he said, clutching his head with his hand. "I am lost."

Dmitry first recognized his hopelessness on September 11. Satisfying relationships, world travel and business success had covered the hole in his life like a rug over a pit. Now staring up from the bottom, Dmitry and millions like him are discovering that their hope had been a mirage.

In reality, the terrorists had not stolen his hope. Dmitry never had any to steal.

The 96 Campus Crusade for Christ staff members in New York City shared the world's horror at the news of the attack, but none we re surprised by the lack of hope that followed . They know that the problem of hopelessness is not new; neither is the solution of seeing a life changed by God. Every day, they offer eternal hope to high-school students, ambassadors, artists, athletes, college students and the poor.

We filled this issue of Worldwide Challenge with stories of true hope in action. In New York, in Washington, D.C., and across the United States of America, hope is alive.

Campus Crusade staff members and volunteers were in place long before that terrible Tuesday. Ironically, so were four of the stories included here—they had been scheduled for this issue many months ago.

Two months later, these men and women are still there. They continue to answer the cries of hopelessness with the promise found in Jesus Christ. Because hope can't be found in this world.

"It is either God or suicide," Dmitry admitted that day on the bench. He took a drag from his cigarette and started to cry again.

May these stories remind us that among the tears and ashes of ruin, God still stands, seeking and saving the lost. He is hope.

To learn how you can help go to

Viracon to Receive Award for Blast Resistant Windows in Pentagon

Posted November 21st, 2002

Window manufacturer Viracon will receive an award today from the Protecting People First Foundation, following the tragic events of September 11. The foundation was set up after the Oklahoma bombing of 2000. It was established to raise awareness of flying glass hazards from terrorist attacks or natural disasters.

Viracon were the manufacturers of the blast resistant windows used in the Pentagon. These windows had only recently been installed in the region affected by the airplane impact and have been credited with saving potentially thousands of lives.

The windows were being installed as part of a renovation operation which had been partially completed by September 11. At the time of the impact approximately 385 of the blast resistant windows were installed in the Pentagon near the crash site.

The glass panel sections consisted of several glass panels bonded together with plastic interlayers similar to automotive windscreens. They differed in that they had a thickness of almost 40mm and weighed over 200kg each. The window frames were manufactured by Masonry Arts Inc to fit in with the existing architecture. Masonry Arts Inc were also responsible for the installation work.

The blast resistant windows were thought to be have been beneficial for a number of reasons. These included:

* The blast resistant windows are claimed to have supported the floors directly above the impact for an additional 30 minutes, providing vital time for thousands of employees to escape
* More lives were saved by virtue of the fact that the glass did not shatter into lethal shards.
* Workers lives were also preserved by the fact that the windows shielded them from the heat and fire from the blast.
* In fact some of the windows near the impact zone did not even break.

The high levels of performance provided by the windows made their $10,000 per piece construction and installation cost a small price to pay. The entire renovation project will see a total of 1755 units installed in the Pentagon as part of several billion dollar renovation.

125 people lost their lives in the Pentagon, in addition to the 64 on board the plane. Had it not been for the blast resistant windows, the death toll could have been much higher, as their were approximately 2600 persons in the affected section of the building at the time of the crash.

For more information on laminated glass, click here.



By Lisa Master Photograph by Tom Mills

Lieutenant Colonel Ken Cox stared in disbelief as networks replayed the second plane crashing into the World Trade Center. Suddenly he heard a loud bang and felt the Pentagon quake. As others scrambled out of the building, Ken rushed toward the smoke.

Approaching what looked like the front tire of an airplane, and seeing people dangling above him in the wreckage, he grabbed five other men, and they crisscrossed arms, forming a human net for people on the third floor to jump to safety.

When the rescuers could no longer reach those who clung to the burning building, they turned over a large trash bin, and two men propped a ladder on Ken's shoulders. Finally, the men made three trips into the inferno, dodging collapsing walls. Soon smoke engulfed them, making it impossible to rescue any o n e else. Even Ken's flashlight could not cut the black fog.

"I don't know how many climbed down to safety," says the officer, "but I cried out to the Lord to help me. What better thing can a man do than lay his life down for another?"

Ken sprang into action just as the U.S. Army had trained him to do. Likewise, when American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon on Tuesday, September 11, God deployed His people to meet physical and spiritual needs.

At 6:30 Wednesday morning, Christian Embassy staff members entered the still-burning building to lead the weekly Wednesday prayer breakfast for officers and civilian leaders. Since 1975, Christian Embassy, a branch of Campus Crusade for Christ, has reached out to political and military leaders in Washington, D.C.

"It was powerful to gather with God's people right there on location," says Corky Eddins, who directs the Pentagon outreach. "Several described how God had miraculously spared their lives. Together we cried out to God for mercy on behalf of our nation, the rescue efforts and especially those who had lost loved ones."

That same morning, Pentagon chaplain Colonel Henry Haynes felt like he was back on the battlefield. His assistant was on leave, and the phone rang repeatedly. Then Corky and two associates stopped by. "Those guys walked right in, answering phones and comforting people," says Chaplain Haynes. When he got called to the crash site, his Christian Embassy friends held down the fort.

Thursday went much the same. At 7:00 p.m. Chaplain Haynes finally plopped into his office chair to listen to voice mail. One message from Corky, informing him that President Bush had declared Friday a National Day of Prayer and Remembrance, suggested they do something. Another message from his boss ordered him to arrange three services the next day.

Chaplain Haynes immediately contacted Corky, who offered to call leaders active in Bible studies. Five agreed to participate in the services, including Major General Robert "General Van" Van Antwerp.

Friday morning Christian Embassy staff member Dick Morton organized the distribution of fliers announcing the services. More than 1,200 people attended the services, which were also shown on closed-circuit television throughout the Pentagon and picked up by national news networks.

General Van emphasized the importance of relationships, especially his own relationship with Christ.

"By the grace of God, I was not in the building," says General Van, whose office was located at the point of impact. He had left the building earlier that morning with most of his team for an off-site meeting.

"Because I'm still here, I need to make every day count," says the father of five. "We have a short window of time where I think a lot of people will come to Christ." Since the attack, General Van and other believers have boldly, yet sensitively, told others of the hope and security they have in Christ Jesus.

And people are listening. Army Chief Warrant Officer Craig Sincock had worked all day Tuesday and into the night to help rescue efforts, all the while hoping to find his wife of 24 years, Cheryle —- General Van's secretary —- who perished in the attack.

Craig spent time with General Van and went to the Family Assistance Center set up by the Department of Defense to help family members of the 189 victims. There he met Corky, who, together with his wife, Georgie, had volunteered to help people wade through the emotional rubble from the crash.

A week later, Craig told Corky he'd surrendered his life to God: "Over the years I've given God little parts of my life, but I've always been afraid to give Him everything. Early this morning, as I was driving in, I put my life in His hands."

Corky, along with Paula VanAntwerp, General Van's wife, who also volunteers at the Family Assistance Center, continues to encourage Craig. "This rocked the foundation of people's seeming faith," says Paula, who received Christ through Campus Crusade's I Found ItSM campaign in 1976. "They need a foundation, and that's where Christians can come in."

Dan Barker, a civilian working in the Pentagon, met a man reeling from the crash. So Dan called another Bible-study leader of the grieving man's same military branch and rank to talk with him.

This personal contact holds together more than 200 leaders involved in Christian Embassy and provided the infrastructure God used when terrorists invaded the home of the nation's military.

"Christian Embassy continues to help," says Chaplain Haynes. "It's a blessing to have them operate without a lot of guidance. There isn't an hour that goes by that someone doesn't stop by to see what needs to be done. That's how I know God is alive and well in this building."

Another chaplain agreed. "This gap is evil," he said of the 100-foot-wide gash cut into the 60-year-old building, "but God is here. God was at Calvary and He is here."

God deployed his people at the Pentagon the week of September 11. People like Ken Cox, who risked his own life to save others. He spent the night in the hospital to clear smoke from his lungs. But Ken won't tell you that. That's the sacrifice of a soldier. And that's the sacrifice of a follower of Christ.

For more information visit and

The End of Ordinary: A Day Beyond Belief for All America

by Calvin Woodward The Associated Press September 16, 2001

WASHINGTON -- In the final moments of ordinary, you could see Spot run on the impossibly green lawn of the White House. You could see workers setting up for a barbecue as the pooch scampered underfoot.

The same Tuesday morning in Florida, President Bush went running, too. He seemed oblivious to the stench of the algae bloom known as the red tide as he jogged in the humid air of Longboat Key.

Outside the Pentagon, fireman Alan Wallace tended to routine duties.

Inside, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld had some people in to talk about missile defense and the risk that terrorism seen in the past would happen again.

“Let me tell ya,” he said, “I’ve been around the block a few times. There will be another event.”

Two minutes later, a plane smashed into the first World Trade Center tower and proved him right.

Thus came the end of ordinary.

Everything before that is now a kept snapshot.

America’s day turned bloody beyond belief. Its capital, for unnerving hours, seemed to be coming apart. The president, said later to have been under a threat, flew around far away until coming home to tell the world, “A great people has been moved to defend a great nation.”

Washington’s decision-makers had 18 minutes after the first crash at the World Trade Center to mull over the possibility that what so many had seen on TV was a freakish accident. Then the second plane struck.

In Sarasota, Bush had heard about the first hit before he entered a classroom to talk about reading. He was putting on a good show, betraying no concern, when his aide Andy Card sidled up to him and leaned over.

“A second plane hit the other tower and America is under attack,” Card told him.

The president blanched. He finished with the kids. At 9:30 a.m., he went to the school library and told the nation that terrorists had apparently struck.

“It was a surreal moment,” Card said later. When the second tower in New York was struck, “it was immediately obvious that it was neither an accident nor a coincidence.”

About 10 minutes after Bush’s statement, a plane came toward the Pentagon out of an impossibly blue sky.

Wallace saw the airliner approach, strangely low.

Many watched, puzzled then horrified, as the plane went lower and lower. The hijacked airliner scored a precise hit on the sprawling but squat building, plunging into the side without even leaving skid marks on the ground.

Wallace and his partner dove under a van just before impact. Crawling out, they wanted to help. But their fire truck was on fire.

Army Specialist Michael Petrovich, 32, heaved a desktop computer through a window and followed it to safety. Retired Navy Cmdr. Paul Gonzalez, 46, a budget analyst, climbed out through the hole created by the plane just in time to turn around and see the section collapse.

Pentagon survivors staggered or ran away from the fireball, the thick smoke, the rubble. The building’s civilian and military employees evacuated -- quickly but orderly at first, in the style of military discipline.

The evacuation turned frantic when security officers began screaming about another incoming plane. It was, perhaps, the one that crashed in Pennsylvania that they were talking about.

Armed authorities rallied around the White House, apparently the hijackers’ initial intended target. Brandishing guns and using horses, they edged back the public.

Secret Service radio traffic was furious. “We have a plane on radar that looks as if it’s headed to the White House!” said one transmission shortly before the Pentagon was hit.

The Secret Service at first hustled West Wing staffers into the basement, then told them to leave the building -- but to walk, not run.

That changed in a matter of seconds. In a level voice, one plainclothes agent accompanying the stream of aides told them: “We don’t want you to walk any more. Run. And if you have heels on and can’t run, take off your shoes. Run!”

First lady Laura Bush was pulling out of the White House in her motorcade, going to a Senate hearing where she was to testify about education, when the second airliner exploded into the World Trade Center.

In a Senate office building, Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy, the committee chairman and a man who carries the weight of American tragedy, greeted Mrs. Bush.

“We are not going to see the business of America deferred because of terrorism,” Kennedy said when the two joined to make a statement putting off the hearing.

The first lady, her face pinched, stood back from the microphone and could barely be heard. “Parents need to reassure their children everywhere in our country that they’re safe,” she said. On her way out, the Pentagon was hit.

Even as Washington braced for more of who-knew-what, officials let the funeral for Washington socialite Joan Aylsworth Gardner proceed inside a church at Lafayette Square across the street.

Letitia Baldridge, social secretary to first lady Jackie Kennedy, said mourners stayed calm even when told was happening in the city.

“When you’re in the house of the Lord, you stop being nervous,” she said. “If one is going to go, it’s a great place to go.”

As federal emergency teams swung into action, ordering all commercial planes in the United States to land, scrambling fighter jets to protect U.S. cities, the great bulk of the bureaucracy was sent home and stores, offices and schools shut.

Congressional leaders were rushed to a mountain bunker 75 miles away.

By late morning, the city was gridlocked with people trying to get home. Drivers stewed in underground parking garages trying merely to reach street level. Sirens sounded but few horns beeped.

Bush lifted off from Sarasota shortly before 10 a.m., destination unannounced. A blurry TV feed brought news of the Pentagon disaster, the evacuations, the New York horrors to the press cabin.

Air Force One seemed to fly in a huge circle for 20 minutes, then veered west and flew higher than normal and with a fighter escort to Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana.

His manner grim and eyes red-rimmed, Bush made another statement. “Freedom itself was attacked this morning by a faceless coward,” he began.

Evidence of his order placing the armed forces on highest alert could be seen on a piece of paper attached to a door at the air base -- the bold phrase “Def Con Delta.”

Air Force One flew to Offutt Air Force Base near Omaha, Neb., home of the Strategic Command and an underground bunker where Bush linked electronically with his national security team in Washington. At suppertime, he landed at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland and prepared for his evening address to the nation from the Oval Office.

The Pentagon is a five-sided doughnut housing 20,000 workers with a huge open courtyard in the middle. The world has seen the images of crews clawing at the fire and rubble from the outside.

But the courtyard was abuzz, too.

Scattering twice because of warnings of another suicide plane, volunteers eventually drifted back into the courtyard alongside rescue and fire crews and set to work. Stretchers awaited victims.

But after the first trickle of survivors, the stretchers sat unused.

Capt. Edward Blunt of the Arlington, Va., fire department, one of the first rescuers on the scene, encountered an Army man, about 50, with fingers missing on both hands. The man encouraged him to treat others hurt worse.

An estimated 188 people from the Pentagon and the jetliner died.

That evening, after yet another national security meeting, Bush went upstairs to bed, a movement captured on the squawk of a Secret Service radio at 10:21 p.m.: “Trailblazer. Second floor of the residence.”

Just west of the city, the direction from which the danger had come on a clear morning, the night sky obscured the smoke still pouring from the Pentagon on the Virginia side of the Potomac River.

All that could be seen glancing back from a car leaving town was what is seen every clear night, the Washington Monument, bathed in its usual brilliant light, strong -- but now also vulnerable.

Pentagon fire put out

By David Pace
Associated Press September 13, 2001

WASHINGTON — More than 24 hours after a hijacked airliner smashed into the Pentagon, a fire that tore at the Defense Department headquarters finally was put out. Hopes of finding more survivors in the rubble were all but extinguished, too.

Some of the sprawling complex's civilian and military employees returned to work even as emergency crews doused the last flames and tried to find the missing. Rescuers worked cautiously, wary of a repeat of the building collapses that killed firefighters in the World Trade Center.

The military services said about 150 people — mostly Army soldiers — were unaccounted for, along with 64 passengers and crew from the plane. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said an earlier estimate by fire officials of as many as 800 dead was too high.

Crews began removing victims' remains Wednesday afternoon, but there was no word on how many bodies were recovered. By evening, crews had started tearing down unstable parts of the building to continue their search. They hoped to have enough demolition work done by morning to enter the impact area.

Arlington County, Va., Fire Marshal Shawn Kelley said searchers know "the general area within the building where they can find the black box," but couldn't get there because it still was unstable.

A small American flag planted on the roof spoke of the Pentagon's determination to restore its spirit despite the horrendous breach of its famous walls.

The little flag was replaced late in the day by a huge one. A dozen firefighters held the banner aloft on the roof, in a display timed to coincide with a visit from President Bush. Then they draped it near the stricken section, a bold display of red, white and blue hanging two-thirds of the way down the wall.

Meantime, stories of harrowing, nick-of-time escapes emerged.

Army Specialist Michael Petrovich, 32, threw a computer through a window, then jumped out behind it, officials said. He has second-degree burns.

Army Lt. Col. Marion Ward, 44, jumped from a second floor window after the plane hit, and suffered smoke inhalation and a sprained ankle. Retired Navy Cmdr. Paul Gonzalez, 46, a budget analyst, got out through the hole in the wall just before the area collapsed. He was in serious condition with burns and respiratory distress.

First lady Laura Bush visited the three in a hospital.

Authorities did not rule out finding people in adjacent areas after a wrecking ball could be used to clear unstable debris, but they did not appear confident of that possibility. Four search and rescue teams each with 70 members were working around the clock looking for survivors, though Pentagon officials acknowledged the prospects of finding anyone alive was extremely remote.

"Anyone who might have survived the initial impact and collapse could not have survived the fire that followed," the department said in a statement.

Washington-area hospitals treated at least 94 people from the Pentagon, with a minimum of 10 in critical condition. Among them was Louise Kurtz, 49, who was starting her second day of work as an Army accountant. She had burns on about 70 percent of her body.

"I didn't recognize my wife of 31 years," said Michael Kurtz. "I saw a person who looked like a mummy. I'm mortified and shocked like the rest of the country."

September 13, 2001

At 8.46am, the world changed in a moment

THE attacks on New York and Washington changed America and the world in an instant. Olga Craig recalls the day when America suffered the worst act of terrorism in modern history.
By Olga Craig,, Published: 12:01AM BST 16 Sep 2001

CAROLYN KYLE had planned to be a little late for work last Tuesday. Born into an old Boston military family, she had been brought up to take pride in professionalism: always get to work on time, dress discreetly, her father had drummed into her while she was in high school.

She used to call him old-fashioned, but his advice had stuck. Carolyn liked to be at her desk, with all her emails read, by 8.30am. Otherwise, she said, the day got off to a bad start.

An economist with the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, Carolyn's 30th birthday was only four days away. Kate, concerned that her friend would want to know about the surprise party organised for Saturday, had confessed what was afoot. Carolyn was thrilled: 30 is a big thing, she told Kate. "I can look my best now that I know about it," she joked.

Excitedly, she told her friend of a red dress that she had seen in a store near the World Trade Centre where she worked. It would be perfect for the party. Carolyn knew that the store wouldn't be open on her way to her office on the 37th floor of the north tower.

But she had tried on the dress already and, if it was still in the window, she could telephone and ask the assistant to hold it for her. It meant a short detour that would make her late, but only by minutes.

At 8.43, Carolyn was logging on to her computer. It was so bright that the sun, reflecting off the Hudson river below and streaming through the wall of windows facing her desk, made her screen difficult to read.

Carolyn always carried a Thermos - it was more convenient than the restaurant. As she filled her plastic cup, it shook violently. What was going on? She felt a shuddering as though the building was moving. Yet it was silent. The clock on the wall behind her showed 8.46.

"Then the noise started: a wild roar, so fierce I remember covering my ears," Carolyn said. "Like a roar that was getting closer, louder. More shrill." She jumped up, confused, seeing the dazed terror on her colleagues' faces. The lights flickered then went out, the roar was deafening.

In panic she ran down the emergency stairwell to the gloomy concourse that connected the World Trade Centre's twin towers at ground level. "It was pitch black. The floor was six inches deep with water. Everyone around me was blackened with dust. One man was bleeding from his head, but his blood seemed black with the soot."

The first thing that Carolyn saw as she scrabbled, shoeless and soaked - but mercifully unhurt - into daylight was a body thudding into the ground only feet away. As she looked up, she saw scores of people frantically beating the window panes, prising open the sealed windows, then toppling, like floppy rag dolls.

Stumbling backwards, she gasped as she watched the spread-eagled bodies hurtle down. Tilting her head back, squinting into the sun, she saw the fireball, the aircraft nose cone, the cascading, shimmering silver debris. "I was gazing into Hell," she says. "And it hadn't even really started."

Carolyn remembers every second of her slow journey home. It was a jumble of screams, of blood, of shock and of devastation. Sometimes she ran, desperate to get as far away as possible. At times she stood rooted: appalled by the carnage, crying at the courage, moved by the compassion.

She saw things that she did not conceive possible: injury and death on a scale she still cannot comprehend. She just knows that she was lucky: at 8.46 she survived the first strike when terrorists smashed American Airlines flight 11, with an impact of one million tons, into the north face of the north tower of the World Trade Centre: into the seemingly impregnable 1,360ft symbol of American pride that had dominated the skyline for 30 years. The aircraft's 16,000 gallons of fuel turned the tower into an inferno - and tore the first gaping hole in the heart of Pax Americana.

The morning had begun much like any other for Captain John Ogonowski, a Vietnam veteran who joined American Airlines 22 years ago. At 6am he said goodbye to Margaret, his wife, who gave him a sleepy nod. As Ogonowski, 50, sped away from his 150-acre, colonial-style farmhouse in Dracut, Massachusetts, en route to Logan international airport at Boston, he tooted his horn outside the house at the bottom of the road. Ogonowski's Uncle Al, a light sleeper, waved in response.

His nephew always honked his horn when he was on an early flight: it was a standing joke between the pair. As Ogonowski switched on his radio to catch the morning news, President Bush was pulling on his running shorts in Longboat Key, Florida. Visiting the state to promote his education reform programme, he reckoned he could do a half-hour circuit before his first appointment.

An hour later, a stream of bleary-eyed passengers checked in for the six-hour flight AA11 from Logan to Los Angeles that Ogonowski would pilot. He was already in the cockpit, running through pre-flight checks. "Perfect flying weather," he told his co-pilot, Tom McGuinness.

Others were arriving for United Airlines flight 175, piloted by Victor Saracini, a former US Navy pilot. As Ogonowski and McGuinness bantered with the 11 crew, a group of 10 Arabs - booked on both flights - silently filed through security control in terminals B and C. Concealed in washbags, tucked in the middle of their hand baggage, were razor blades that they would fashion into crude knives. None was picked up by the X-ray machines.

Several of them, now known to be "sleepers", had flown to Boston earlier that morning from Portland, Maine. Their luggage, which failed to make the connection, was later found to contain a copy of the Koran, a fuel consumption calculator and a flight instruction video. Others, who arrived by car, left behind a flight training manual.

Those who recall seeing them say that they didn't speak to each other. None of them, presumably, was worried about the obvious clues he had left behind. Their murderous mission, they knew, would be complete by the time they were found.

The 10 had eight accomplices whose mission was to hijack two more flights: four would board flight AA77, which would leave Dulles, Washington, at 8.20; the remaining four flight UA93 that would leave Newark at 8.43.

Their mission had been planned meticulously: its success lay in its simplicity. All four flights would take off within 44 minutes of each other: their aim was to bring death and destruction to New York, the Pentagon and Camp David - each a symbol of American supremacy.

The hijackers had been nonchalant about how they had bought their ticket: they were never going to be held accountable, they were never going to stand trial, they were going on, they believed, to greater glory.

They booked their tickets on the internet, using frequent flier numbers, between August 25 and 28. And they had paid the airlines handsomely: two paid $4,500 for one-way first class seats, another three paid $1,760 for business-class seats.

By 7.59, at around the time Carolyn Kyle was pressing her nose against a store glass window, picturing herself in the red dress, Mohammed Atta - who had gained his pilot's licence in Venice, Florida, at a local flying school - had settled himself into seat 8D in the business class section of flight AA11.

Nearby, in the front row of business class, were Abdul Alomari, Satam al Suqami and Waleed and Wail Alsheri. All 93 passengers had buckled their belts and Captain Ogonowski was taxiing out of Terminal B's Gate 26.

Sixteen minutes later, at 8.15, Marwan Alshehri, another graduate of the Venice air school, was in his seat as UA175 took to the air with 56 passengers and nine crew. Seated alongside were Fayez Ahmed, Ahmed Alghamdi, Hamza Alghamdi and Mohaid Alsheri. Behind sat Ruth McCourt, 45, and Juliana, her four-year-old daughter.

They had hoped to get on AA11 to travel with Paige Hackell, but, when they couldn't secure seats, opted for this flight, arranging to meet Paige at Los Angeles airport.

By now, in the Pentagon, Donald Rumsfeld, the 69-year-old Defence Secretary, was beginning a working breakfast with a few Congress members to discuss missile defence. Stony-faced, Rumsfeld voiced his long-held opinion that the US would face another terrorist attack in the near future. "Let me tell ya," he drawled, "I've been around the block a few times. There will be another event."

It was hardly the first warning: last month, Israeli intelligence officials had warned their US counterparts that a large-scale terrorist attack on key targets on the American mainland was imminent. Two senior military intelligence experts had been sent to Washington in August to alert the CIA and FBI that a cell of 200 terrorists was preparing a major operation.

Even at the Pentagon, staff joked that they worked at "Ground Zero" - the spot, it was assumed at which an incoming nuclear missile aimed at America's defence headquarters would explode. The term was common currency: there was even a snack bar named Ground Zero in the central courtyard.

On Tuesday, however, Rumsfeld was merely reinforcing his long-held belief. As the Congress members listened in sombre silence, Sandra Foster, 41, a civilian employee with the US Department of Defence was leaving her home in Clinton, Maryland. She was early, as usual. Like Carolyn Kyle, she liked to be at her desk in the Pentagon early.

Kenneth, her husband and a former Army officer, was in the kitchen. Before she left, she had brought him a cup of coffee and kissed the top of his head affectionately. By now, all across New York, everyday people with everyday lives were beginning their morning rituals. The business community was bustling and jostling to work, irritated by the dawdling tourists who gawped at the skyscrapers and clogged the subway.

A few of those everyday people deviated from their usual routine - and lived to thank God that they did. Men such as Howard Lutnick, the workaholic chief executive of Cantor Fitzgerald, a bond brokerage firm, who decided, on Tuesday, to put his son before his job and took him, by the hand, to his first day at nursery school.

"I wanted to take him to kindergarten: I told him it was 'big boy' school. It made me late for the office. Thank the good Lord," he said. Had he not, he would almost certainly be dead. Of the 700 Cantor employees who were on floors 101 to 105 of the north tower - one floor above the nine pierced by flight AA11 - none has been found alive.

Last night, as he rocked his son on his knee, Lutnick wept as he was told how Cantor staff in London and Los Angeles, on conference calls with New York colleagues when the plane hit, heard screams of agony. "It has changed my view of everything." he said over and over. "Who cares about material success? I can kiss my kids tonight. So many others never will."

Some of those everyday people, such as Oliver Monfredi, 23, a medical student from Sheffield who was just beginning his sixth week of work experience in New York, had, at the last minute, chosen to get up early to watch a particularly gruesome postmortem examination.

It wasn't something he was looking forward to; he just thought it would be good experience. It meant he was in the medical examiner's office, two miles from the World Trade Centre, and was assisting the wounded within minutes.

Others, such as Briton Sarah Redheffer, an events organiser for Risk Waters, a publishing company, who was nervous about hosting her first business conference, stuck rigidly to her itinerary. Known as a conscientious employee, she was anxious that the 8am event go off smoothly. She had flown in from London two days earlier and was in the Windows on the World restaurant at 7am, overseeing everything.

By 8am, the catering staff had laid out Danish pastries, fruit salad and orange juice for the 235 delegates expected - the keynote speech was to begin in half an hour. Normally the catering staff would not have been in before 10am to set up for lunch - they were there only because of the Risk Waters conference.

As the delegates filtered in at 8.15 to register, James Loughran, from Northern Ireland, was just settling behind his new desk on floor 34. One month into his new job, he was still struggling to find his way around the building. New York seemed like another planet to the quietly spoken Ulsterman who had been raised in rural County Tyrone.

As Loughran switched on his computer, silently congratulating himself on not getting lost once that morning, Mohammed Atta and his team were rising from their seats on board flight AA11. In the row behind, Robert Hayes, a passenger, who the night before had told his wife he had a bad feeling about the flight and hugged her closely before leaving, was about to see his inexplicable premonition become reality.

The hijackers had attached the razor blades to credit cards: they were ready to begin the hijack. No one can be certain what happened next. But from snatches of information and mobile phone calls from the passengers who were told to call their loved ones because they were about to die, investigators have pieced together some of what happened.

The passengers had probably just been served breakfast when the terrorists struck. Screaming and yelling, they bundled the air stewardesses to the back of the plane. Swiftly, they sliced their throats - their aim to lure Ogonowski from the controls. As the passengers screamed and pandemonium broke out, they herded them to the back of the plane.

At 8.20 air traffic controllers noted that the plane had failed to climb to 31,000ft as instructed. Confused but not yet worried, they continued to chart its progress. On board, Ogonowski surreptitiously activated a talk button that transmitted to controllers.

"Don't do anything foolish," they heard one of the hijackers scream in heavily accented English. "You won't be hurt," he yelled. "We have more planes. We have other planes." they gloated.

At 8.44, as the hijackers jeered at the passengers, two jets from Otis Air Force base on Cape Cod were ordered to scramble, two minutes before the first plane hit the World Trade Centre. Two more F15 planes got in the air at 8.52, but they were 70 miles away and unable to intercept the second plane before it homed in on the south tower.

In all probability the pilot and co-pilot were murdered as the hijackers took the controls. Behind, the passengers cowered in terror. One brave stewardess called the airline's operations centre. She told them what had happened and, crucially, gave Atta's seat number, allowing him to be identified from the passenger list.

By now the hijackers had switched off the transponder that allows ground control to locate the plane. At around the same time, the hijackers on flight 175 had taken control. Five minutes later, Peter Hanson, 32, a software executive travelling with his wife and two-year-old daughter, telephoned his parents in Connecticut on his mobile. Hurriedly he told the elderly couple of the knifings and the hijacking. They could barely take it in.

Otis Air Force base in Cape Cod had heard Ogonowski's secret transmissions and dispatched two F-16 fighters to intercept the Boeing. The passengers, of course, knew nothing of this. They sat huddled at the back of the cabin. They had been told to call their loved ones: they had been told they were going to die.

They knew there was no hope. Some callers wept with despair as they reached only their family's answering machines. Screams of "I love you, I love the kids" filled the air. Those with no mobiles could only pray silently. Hanson made his final call to his mother: "We are going down," she heard him say, his voice choking.

The line went dead: it was 8.46. On the street below Joe Garlandi, an off-duty fireman, was captured on amateur film gazing at the low-flying aircraft, a perplexed expression on his face. At 300 mph, the Boeing smashed into the north tower. Life had ended for the passengers and the hijackers.

In the moments before the aircraft seared into floors 91 to 100, Sarah Redheffer, listening to the keynote speech in the Windows on the World restaurant and, perhaps, breathing a sigh of relief that her debut conference was running smoothly, must surely have seen the plane as it veered towards the north-facing windows. We will never know her thoughts, how she reacted. No one from the conference is known to have survived.

In the next 19 minutes, before flight UA 175 thundered into the side of the south tower, the 30,000 workers and tourists, the day-trippers and mothers, the affluent and the bedraggled were pitched into a blistering inferno. Some perished instantly, blasted to bits. Others, burned horrifically, hurled themselves to death: some in terror of the pain and flames, others in despair.

Melissa Hughes, trapped in the World Trade Centre, left a desperate message on her husband Sean's answerphone. "Sean it's me. I just wanted to tell you I love you. I'm stuck in this building in New York. A plane hit the building or a bomb went off, we don't know, but there's lots of smoke and I just wanted you to know that I love you. Bye bye."

Within two minutes of the fireball, the news was flashed to President Bush's motorcade, which was a mile away from the Emma E. Booker primary school in Sarasota. The President was told the news as he waited in a hallway. He was immediately hustled into a private room to speak to Condoleezza Rice, his National Security Adviser, who was at the White House.

Both believed that a terrible accident had occurred: they agreed that the President had to continue with his schedule until more information was gathered. Bush, smiling and relaxed and determined to betray no sign of panic, sat down with the 16-year-old pupils and listened as they read.

Meanwhile the same terrifying hijacking sequence was being played out on the other three aircraft. Just two minutes after AA 11 blasted into the north tower, UA 175 made a sharp turn left over New Jersey. The Air Force commanders who scrambled the F-16s from Otis faced an agonising decision. To shoot down a civilian jet needed the authority of the President. There simply was no time to contact him.

On board flight 175, Ruth McCourt was doubtless holding Juliana, her daughter, tightly. Her beloved daughter was, she had told Paige only that morning, the most precious thing in her life. She and her husband had tried for a baby for years - when Juliana was born, Ruth, already 41, had almost given up hope of motherhood.

Fear for her own life must surely have been overtaken by the agony that her precious daughter was to die, too. Perhaps she prayed: perhaps they all did as, at 9.05, the aircraft rammed into the south tower.

On the ground, stunned New Yorkers, already paralysed by the flames engulfing the north tower, noticed the second jet only as it banked and dipped a wing. Joe Garlandi, the fireman caught on amateur video, covered his eyes. In his job, he knew this was only the beginning.

In the air, flight AA 77 had reached its cruising height of 35,000ft. The crew was serving snacks: doubtless the atmosphere was relaxed. Just before 9am the terrorists, wielding knives, sprang. Immediately the plane made a sharp left turn and veered back towards Washington DC. Its tracking beacon was switched off.

As the hijackers grappled with stewardesses and passengers, Barbara Olson, a television reporter and political commentator, hid in the lavatory and telephoned Ted, her husband, the US Solicitor General. Frantically she asked him: "What should I tell the pilot to do?" She had no way of knowing that the flight was on a suicide mission.

At 9.43 the plane smashed into the Pentagon. Just 23 minutes earlier, Sandra Foster had called her husband at home to tell him of the attacks on the World Trade Centre. On the couple's answering machine she left a breathless message: Sandra had worked for the Pentagon for 25 years. She knew that her building was an obvious target, but she betrayed no hint of panic as she sat at her desk, in the complex's south-west side.

When she finished the call, she dashed back to the television: then an explosion tore a gaping hole five feet wide and 200 feet high in the five-sided building. Death for Sandra, craning over the television set at the point of impact, was instant. Kenneth Foster, who worked several hundred yards away, ran towards the blast. "It was horror, sheer horror," he said later. "Carnage, blackened trees, shattered bricks, molten windows."

He refused to leave. Alongside the rescue teams, he scrabbled through the debris, searching for his wife. "All I could see were legs, arms, feet. But I was looking for Sandra's face."

Others were luckier. Some, such as Michael Petrovich, 32, an Army specialist, reacted swiftly. He threw a computer out of the window, then jumped though. He suffered second-degree burns. Paul Gonzalez, 46, a budget analyst, smashed a hole in the wall and crawled out. He was pulled to safety by Donald Rumsfeld who, although ordered by the secret service to leave the Pentagon, had refused.

Back on board UA 93, bound for San Francisco, the stewardesses had wheeled out the soft drinks trolleys just as Carolyn Kyle was switching on her computer in the World Trade Centre. All was calm. Then, one hour into the flight, the hijackers grabbed their first hostages, forcing them to the rear of the cabin. The plane turned back towards New York.

At Air Traffic Control, they heard the pilot say, in a measured voice: "Remain in your seats. There is a bomb on board. Stay quiet. We are meeting their demands. We are returning to the airport." One passenger ignored his words and slipped into the lavatory to dial 911 - the American equivalent of 999. In the opposite lavatory, Jeremy Glick, an internet company worker from Hewitt, New Jersey, telephoned Lyzbeth, his wife, on his mobile. "Three Arab men with red headbands have knives. They have taken control," he said.

In a muffled voice Glick, a muscular 6ft 4in water sports enthusiast, told her that several passengers had decided to do something. His wife told him of the Trade Centre attacks and Glick must have known his flight was another suicide mission. She patched his call through to 911.

Though his voice sounded shaky, he joked that they had even thought of stabbing the hijackers with the breakfast butter knives. The couple, whose daughter was just 12 weeks old, both cried. "He was a hero for what he did," Lyzbeth said later.

"But he was also a hero for me. He told me not to be sad. He told me to take care of the baby. That whatever choices in life I made, whatever I did, he would always be with me. Be strong, he said. Grasp life. Live it for me."

In yet another lavatory, Thomas Burnett, 38, a medical company executive from California, called Deena, his wife. He, too, said the passengers were going to try to overpower their captors.

When she pleaded with him to do nothing, not to attract attention to himself, he replied: "No, no. If they are going to run this into the ground, we are going to do something." He rang off with the words: "I love you, honey."

Shortly before 8.30, the plane made an unexplained turn south, heading down the Hudson river towards New York. As both men - and perhaps one other - attacked the hijackers, Cee Cee Lyles, a stewardess was leaving a poignant message on her husband's answering machine.

Though the passengers could have had no real idea of the terrorists' target, some may have, rightly, thought it to be Camp David. As the men struggled to gain control, the aircraft plummeted towards woodland in Somerset county, 80 miles east of Pittsburgh.

By now, inside the World Trade Centre the stench of incinerated flesh, the cries of the horrifically injured and the shrieks of terror were beyond belief.

James Loughran who that morning had been so proud that he had got to his desk without once getting lost, was now very, very lost. He had been petrified when the room shook. After the impact, as flames licked above, he could see the debris cascading down outside the windows. "Showers of glass and metal were raining down, everyone was screaming. I remember thinking: 'Where the hell is the door?' "

Loughran followed others to the stairway that was running with water and black with smoke. He just kept running. As he stumbled into the sunshine he tripped over a body: it was a postman, dead, still with parcels in his arms.

"I could not move. Fireballs were raining down. I ran and I did not stop." A street away, Loughran looked back. What he saw, he has seen every night since, in nightmares. "Fire, smoke, the stench. I looked up and saw bodies hurtling down. I had to turn away."

As Loughran stood transfixed, Tony Blair was putting the finishing touches to a speech he was due to deliver to the TUC that afternoon. He scribbled furiously, pausing only to nod at Alastair Campbell, his chief media adviser. When an aide burst in with the news, Blair jumped to his feet. Like most, he thought it a horrific accident. He went back to his speech.

Absent-mindedly, he munched a banana - there wasn't time for meal breaks. Within minutes, as news filtered through of the second attack, Blair cancelled his speech and made arrangements to return to London: with a sinking heart, he knew there would be hundreds of British lives lost.

On the streets of New York, workers in nearby buildings wept with despair: from their windows, high up over the Manhattan skyline, they saw clearly the tortured faces of those trapped in the upper floors of the towers. Bill Rozar, a computer data architect for AIG Insurance, a quarter of a mile from the towers, grimaced in disbelief as he saw people whose bodies were in flames writhe in agony.

"The most sickening sight of my life was seeing them fling themselves out of the windows: what agony one must feel to do that I never, ever want to know. Those bodies, just crashing to the ground."

Inside the south tower unbelievable dramas were unfolding. Silvio Ramsunder, 31, who worked for Mizuho Capital Markets, was on the 78th floor of the south tower, waiting to be evacuated after the first attack. He was still in shock: he just felt lucky that his office was not in the north tower. He had seen people throwing themselves from windows: he prayed for them.

Then, at 9.03, his tower was hit. "I remember a massive boom and such heat. It was like a tornado. There were bodies everywhere. I distinctly recall thinking: 'Why him and not me?'

"Then I saw blood gushing out of my right side. I was on my hands and knees, and I started crawling through the black smoke, trying to find the emergency stairwell. I could smell gas and petrol, the bodies stank of it." By the time he was on the 40th floor, Ramsunder was on the point of giving up. A stranger called Mark gave him water and urged him on, dragging him by the collar.

In Florida, Andrew Card, the President's chief of staff, tip-toed into the room where Mr Bush was still listening to schoolchildren and whispered into the President's ear. Mr Bush's eyes narrowed - his face, captured on camera, turned flint grey - but he continued to listen and managed to joke with the pupils' teacher.

By 9.25, the Federal Aviation Administration had issued an order to shut down the nation's air system. Ted Olson had already received the first dramatic phone call from his wife and telephoned the Justice Department's command centre: he was told that officials knew nothing of the hijacked flight.

In the Florida school, Mr Bush knew he must now make an announcement: it was probably the most important of his career and certainly the most difficult. There had been, he said, an apparent terrorist attack on the country.

Air traffic controllers at Dulles airport, in the knowledge that flight 77, with its radar transponders switched off, was flying at high speed in the restricted airspace around the White House, issue warnings. Immediately evacuations began in the White House.

Condoleezza Rice, the National Security Adviser, and Richard Cheney, the Vice-President, were moved deep beneath the building to the President's Emergency Operations Centre, which is designed to withstand a nuclear attack. As Cheney hurried down the steep staircase, an aide told him that another aircraft, or possibly a helicopter, might be heading towards the White House.

While the evacuated staff set up temporary headquarters at a nearby law firm, secret service agents armed with machineguns were deployed around the White House. As they got into position, Laura Bush, the President's wife, was whisked away to a secret bunker.

Meanwhile, as Mrs Bush was driven away, stunned medical teams and firefighters streamed on to the streets of New York.

Hundreds of firemen were scrambled from the New York Fire Deparment - among them Mike Kehoe, from the 28th Engine Company in Manhattan. With scores of colleagues, he fought his way into the blazing buildings, forcing his way through the survivors piling out.

Until Friday, he was thought to have perished; in fact, he escaped the south tower 30 seconds before it collapsed at 10.07. More than 200 of his colleagues died as they tried to save trapped worked.

As the firefighters stormed into the towers, Father Michael Judge, the Fire Service chaplain, knelt on the pavement to give the last rights to a dying colleague. As he softly spoke the last line of the prayer, a body plummeted down and crushed him to death.

By midday, the streets around the towers were sodden with ash, awash with blood, fuel and water and littered with rubble. As Carolyn Kyle stumbled homeward, she passed the shop where, that morning, she had gazed longingly at the red dress. She clearly remembers thinking: "Blood red, I will never wear that colour again."

All around her, hospital workers ran up and down the streets shouting: "Blood donations, blood donations." Hysterical survivors wandered the streets. All around were the tangled girders, the glass shards and the rubble that was once the twin towers. As stretchers ran out, medics improvised, tearing doors off shops.

Anyone with a boat was begged to help ferry victims across the Hudson. Ariana Pelham, 28, a London law student who was studying in New York, had queued to give blood. She had crewed on a boat during the summer and ran to Chelsea Pier, where it was docked. There she was given basic medical instructions: her task, however, was to be much grimmer.

Each volunteer was given a bundle of coloured tags. Black, they were told, were for the dead; red for those that would probably die but might not, themselves, know it; yellow for those who might survive and were the priority.

Ariana was assigned to the red and black teams. "I was told to go over the bodies of the dead to check for tattoos or scars, to check their pockets, to make notes on their clothes - anything that would help with identifying them. `Don't get personally involved,' we were told. "How could we not?"

Oliver Monfredi, the medical student from Sheffield who had volunteered to treat the injured, ran into the emergency rooms of St Vincent's hospital shortly after noon. By 3pm, he was still there.

In a nearby room Silvio Ramsunder, who would have perished on the stairwell had not a stranger given him water, had been treated. He had a broken collarbone and a collapsed lung. "But I was alive. That feeling of joy that I had survived overcame any pain," he told doctors.

By now President Bush was on board Air Force One and had authorised American forces to raise their war readiness status to DefCon 3, two levels short of war. Such was the security around the President that few of those on the flight - even the secret service agents - had been told where the plane was going. His plane soared to 40,000ft as an added security measure and an F-16 fighter flew at each wing. To ensure the President's safety it flew in circles for almost two hours.

In the meantime, Rumsfeld had held a meeting in the National Military Command Centre: though deep in the bowels of the Pentagon, smoke had seeped down and the air was acrid. Fighter aircraft were scrambled over Washington DC, where their sonic booms created more panic.

When the President's aircraft landed at Barksdale air force base in Louisiana, the headquarters of the Eighth Air Force, it was instantly surrounded by soldiers in flak jackets and carrying M16s.

It was from there, at 12.36, that Bush made his first television statement: "Freedom itself was attacked this morning by a faceless coward," he began. By 2.50pm he had moved to Offut air force base in Nebraska, where he presided over a meeting of his national security team.

At the White House, there was disquiet that the President was not there. Trent Lott, the Republican minority leader in the Senate, told the assembled staff: "He has to reassure the nation. And he has to do it from the Oval Office."

Across the Atlantic, Blair had arrived in London by 4.30 and called a meeting of Cobra - Cabinet Office Briefing Room A. He had already been apprised of the most sensitive information. He had called leaders in France, Germany, Russia and China. All were sympathetic - with the exception of the Chinese.

In New York, where people were still in shock, traffic was at a standstill. Children, waiting to be picked up from school, had been left crying at school gates. No one knew where their parents were.

By 7pm the President had been flown to the White House and stood, head bowed, for an impromptu rendering of God Bless America. Within an hour and a half, dressed in sombre navy, his hands clasped, he made his Oval Office speech: there would be, he vowed, no distinction made between the terrorists who committed the attacks and those who harboured them.

Ariana Pelham, covered in dust and blood, was still tagging bodies, trying desperately to follow the "don't become involved" advice. Oliver Monfredi was still hoisting bodies, some warm, some long cold, on to makeshift stretchers - but so few were recovered that the ferries that had been prepared to cross the moonlit Hudson to the temporary mortuaries were almost empty.

Carolyn Kyle was at home. Last night, on her 30th birthday, the red dress was the very last thing on her mind. Since Tuesday, she has worn black.

  • Reporting team: Andrew Alderson, Charles Laurence, Bill Langley, Annette Witheridge, David Wastell, Joe Murphy, Charlotte Edwardes, Chris Hastings, Jenny Booth, Philip Sherwell, Jenny Jarvie

Operation Recovery

By Katherine McIntire Peters Government Executive September 1, 2002 Faith, friendship and duty carried Army employees out of the burning Pentagon and are helping them restore their lives and work.

Like so many whose lives were turned upside down on Sept. 11, 2001, Martha Carden looks back on that Tuesday morning in terrible awe. A decision to reschedule a meeting or pass up another cup of coffee or linger in conversation at a colleague's desk would have unimaginable consequences for Carden and her colleagues in the Army's personnel office. The most mundane things - a visit to the restroom, a missed medical appointment, or even an impromptu conversation in the hallway - would determine life and death that day.

But early on that Tuesday morning, all that was still to come. Before terrorists armed with box cutters and an apocalyptic vision hijacked four commercial airliners and galvanized the nation for war, what struck Carden was the weather. It was brilliantly clear, cool and sunny, a glorious late summer morning in Northern Virginia.

Carden was busy at work on the final details of a retirement party the staff planned to throw for Sgt. Maj. Larry Strickland. Strickland had been the right-hand man for the last six Army personnel chiefs, most recently for Lt. Gen. Timothy Maude, Carden's boss. She dreaded losing her office mate of 11 years; for her, his retirement was going to be bittersweet.

Workdays begin early at the Pentagon. By the time Carden left her desk in Gen. Maude's second-floor executive suite for a 9 a.m. meeting in the conference room across the hall, most of the people scheduled to attend had already been at work for hours. The meeting for the personnel office's executive officers should have been held the previous Tuesday, but the Labor Day holiday had thrown things off schedule. Nobody at the meeting had heard the news that 15 minutes earlier, a plane had flown into the World Trade Center's north tower in lower Manhattan. When a second plane struck the south tower at 9:03 a.m., the meeting already was under way.

Most of the staff had just moved into newly renovated office space on the western side of the Pentagon, and discussion at the meeting was lively. "We were having a great old time," remembers Lt. Col. Regina Grant. Colleagues teased Carden and Lt. Col. Robert Grunewald about a few minor administrative issues. Grunewald, the executive officer in charge of technology, and Carden, a civil servant with 30 years of experience and a well-known aversion to new technology, made unlikely friends. It was a close-knit staff, with many long-serving members.

When Max Beilke left around 9:30 a.m.for another meeting with Maude and several others in the executive offices across the hall, nobody gave it much thought. Beilke was an Army legend. The 69-year-old deputy chief of retirement services was a retired master sergeant who fought in Korea and was the last U.S. combat soldier to leave Vietnam in 1973.

Regina Grant couldn't help making eye contact with Lt. Col. Dennis Johnson throughout the meeting. Johnson sat across the table from her and was a good friend. "Col. Johnson just has such a warm face. His eyes and my eyes were always meeting - it was kind of funny. I don't know why, really. He was the management support officer and the guy you needed to know to make your job easier," she says. A couple of seats away sat Lois Stevens, whose 17 years in the personnel office gave her an institutional knowledge few could begin to approach. For Stevens, most of those around the conference table and in the surrounding offices had become a second family.


While staff inside the conference room were oblivious to what was happening in New York, those outside had begun to hear the news. But they weren't any better prepared for what would come next. In the large cubicle complex just outside the conference room, security officer John Yates stood watching the spectacle in New York on television when President Bush cut short a school visit in Sarasota, Fla., at 9:30 a.m. to say that the country was under a terrorist attack. The televised images from New York were especially horrifying to Yates. Since childhood, he'd been afraid of dying in a fire. Yates called his new wife at her office to tell her what was happening. She joked that he might want to consider working under his desk for the rest of the day.

Nearby, Tracy Webb worked at her desk. She had planned to walk down to the Starbucks kiosk in the cafeteria for a cup of coffee with Odessa Morris and Dalisay Olaes a few minutes earlier, but something had come up and she asked them to wait for her. Morris, who planned to celebrate her 25th wedding anniversary that evening, left for the restroom while Webb finished what she was doing. Olaes heard about the attack in New York, and called her husband to tell him. Then she took down the rosary she kept on a plastic hook on her computer terminal and began to pray. Across the aisle, Sgt. 1st Class Jose Calderon-Olmeda hung up the phone after talking to his boss, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Julia Lyons, who was just then pulling into a parking lot on the south side of the Pentagon.

Then, everything changed.

Whether there was a low rumble or a loud bang depends on who you ask, but most people remember that the floor shook and the ceiling started to crumble. Grunewald felt the conference room explode. "The corner of the room behind Martha just erupted into a fireball," he says. "The walls started to fracture. We had one of these drop ceilings and it exploded into a billion little Styrofoam pieces. And then the room went dark."

Col. Philip McNair, who was conducting the meeting, yelled for everyone to get down. Some people remember Grunewald shouting, "Where's Martha?" and others remember him saying, "Martha, I'll get you." Everyone remembers him leaping onto the table and crawling the length of it to reach her.

The conference room had two doors. The logical exit was the door that led into the E-Ring corridor, which was between the conference room and the executive offices, but someone tried to open it and couldn't. By now, they all were on their hands and knees, gasping and groping in the dark, trying to escape the thick smoke that was filling the room. The other door led through a small interior room and out to the cubicles where many of the 240 people assigned to the personnel office worked. People began to feel their way out of the room. Remarkably, hardly anyone panicked. At some point, someone quietly began to pray, "Our Father, who art in heaven." Across the room, voices could be heard: "Over here" and "Follow me."

"There were a lot of people calmly helping a lot of other people," Grunewald says. Two sounds would become lodged in the minds of those who were there. The first was the Pentagon alarm system, which droned on and on and on: "A fire emergency has been determined. Please evacuate. A fire emergency has been determined. Please evacuate." When the alarm sounds today, it sends chills through anyone who was there on Sept. 11. But the other noise that played in the background was far worse: "You could hear the fire burning above you," Grunewald says. "You couldn't see it, but you heard it burning and you sensed things coming down all around you. And that's all you hear, and you can't see a thing."


Grunewald found Carden and told her to hang onto his belt. He then began to crawl out of the conference room and across the floor of the area the staff called the "cubicle farm," looking for a way out. By now, the smoke was thick, and without knowing where the fire was or what had happened, finding the way to safety was a matter of guesswork. The building's sprinkler system began to work, offering some intermittent relief from the heat and smoke. "You're crawling through water and you're pushing things out of the way - chairs, tables, desks. And the fire is all you hear. You can't see, and there is this smell and you're choking, because the smoke is very low to the ground. The jet fuel is burning as well as all the other stuff. And you're not doing well," Grunewald says.

As he and Carden made their way across the floor on hands and knees in the choking smoke, Carden clung to Grunewald's belt and her glasses. "My thinking and reasoning powers totally shut down and I was just totally focused on Rob. He was my lifesaver. If I stayed with him and focused on that, that's how I was going to get out," she says.

Others were taking a different route. When Regina Grant crawled out of the conference room and into the cubicle farm, she saw John Yates. "It sounds strange. You couldn't see a thing. It was total darkness, but somehow I saw John. All I could think was he looked like he had been blown out of a cannon - you know, like you see in cartoons." Grant would look back and regard Yates as a guardian angel.

Still on her hands and knees, Grant saw a pair of feet in front of her - Yates' feet, she believed - and began to follow them through the maze of desks and chairs and partitions and filing cabinets that covered the floor of the huge room. Others were doing the same. At some point, Grant heard her friend, Lt. Col. Marilyn Wills, and Lois Stevens behind her. Stevens, a tiny woman, got tangled up in the legs of a chair, but she worked herself free and was able to keep going. Crawling was rough. Grant paused for a moment and then realized the feet in front of her were no longer there. She also couldn't hear Wills and Stevens behind her. Overwhelmed by smoke and confused, she put her head down. "My husband doesn't like to hear this, but I thought that was it," she says. "I just stopped and prayed and I thought of my husband. And I was at peace with that."

Tracy Webb had no idea what was happening. She was still at her desk when she heard a loud bang and the floor came up and the ceiling began to fall. Her head hurt and she stood up to see what was going on, but everything went black. She heard Grunewald's voice coming from the conference room behind her and somebody yelled to get down. She reflexively opened her cabinet to get her purse. "All this time my head was on fire," she says. Her chest hurt too, and it was hard to breathe. In the cubicle beside her, Dalisay Olaes panicked. "Tracy and I were holding hands and then everything went dark. I don't know what happened but all of a sudden she wasn't there." Olaes, who is called Day by her friends, screamed for help as she huddled in the corner of her cubicle. From the other side of her cubicle, Spc. Michael Petrovich called to her, trying to calm her down. "He said 'Day, just keep screaming and I'll find you,'" Olaes says. Petrovich groped his way to her and told her to hold his belt and follow him as he tried to find a way out.

Webb got to her knees and started to grope her way around, following voices. Somewhere along the way she lost her shoes. Her head hurt unbelievably and her knees burned. "I heard a voice say 'Help me' and then I didn't hear anything," Webb says. "I couldn't tell where I was. I stood up, and that's when it really hit me. I knew I was going to die and I got down on my knees and I prayed to the Lord to give my mother the strength to take care of my kids."

For some reason, Grant turned around. She saw Tracy Webb behind her. "I saw Tracy stand up and she was holding her head. I grabbed her skirt and pulled her down. Seeing Tracy gave me strength," Grant says. Grant hollered for help as loud as she could in the choking smoke. To her astonishment, someone called to them. They crawled towards the voice and a door leading into the 4th Corridor, a wide hallway flanking the office that ran through the Pentagon from the outermost ring of offices to the Pentagon's five-acre, open-air Center Courtyard and its welcome grass, trees and, most of all, fresh air. Once Grant and Webb made it to the corridor, they found people holding open the fire doors, which close automatically to prevent fire from spreading. "I never would have known how to get through that fire door if someone hadn't been there," Grant says.

John Yates doesn't remember much about his trip through hell, just that everything he touched seemed to be burning: "In my mind, I hear somebody saying go out through the DMPM door," one of the doors that led from the cubicle farm into the 4th Corridor. I knew I was going in the right direction because I could feel water. I distinctly remember standing up and walking out toward the Center Courtyard."

Carden and Grunewald made their own circuitous journey across the office and then across the 4th Corridor and into a cafeteria before they figured out where they were. They then crawled back into the corridor, when they ran into Grant and Webb. "Regina and I literally held each other up," says Carden. Others helped the three women into the Center Courtyard. Grunewald returned to the office to look for more survivors, but thick smoke and intense heat prevented him from getting very far. He returned without finding anybody.

Grant was frantic about losing track of Marilyn Wills and Lois Stevens, who had been crawling behind her at one point. Finally, as she was searching for them among the others pouring into the courtyard, someone brought word that they and several others had jumped from a window on the second floor onto a service road known as A and E Drive, which flanks the eastern edge of the personnel office inside the Pentagon. Rescuers moved the injured into the courtyard to receive medical care and that's where Carden eventually found Lois Stevens sitting down, propped up against a tree. "I was just so happy to see Lois, I can't even tell you," Carden recalls. Carden, whose passion for shoes is known to her friends, joked with Stevens that her new Ferragamo pumps might have to be replaced. They both laughed, and then they noticed that Stevens didn't have any shoes. Carden is embarrassed by the thought now. "We had no idea the enormity of what had happened."

When Tracy Webb reached the courtyard she collapsed and started vomiting and coughing up black fluid. Yates was nearby, where medics were cutting off his clothing and attending to his burns. "I could tell he was in far worse shape than I was in. But John looked at me and said 'Are you all right?' He was concerned about me. It was just terrible," says Webb. Yates looked at his hands and noticed the skin was falling off.


When terrorists crashed American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon, the plane tore through the building's western face like a huge missile. The lower outside offices, including the Army personnel office's second-floor executive suite, were immediately obliterated. The plane's wings sheared off on impact before the body of the plane plowed through first-floor offices, directly underneath the personnel office's cubicle farm and conference room, through three of the Pentagon's five concentric rings of offices. The area instantly became an inferno fed by jet fuel and paper. The first-floor offices, including the Army's budget office and the Navy Command Center, were decimated. Very few people there survived. At 10:10 a.m., 27 minutes after Flight 77 struck the Pentagon, the section of the building holding the second-floor personnel offices collapsed. It would take firefighters days to put out the fire.

One hundred and twenty-five people working in the Pentagon died in the attack, along with 53 passengers and six crew members aboard the jet and the five hijackers. The Army personnel office lost 24 of its 240 staff members. Of the 11 people in the conference room when the plane hit, two were killed: Lt. Col. Dennis Johnson and Maj. Steve Long, a decorated combat veteran who worked in another building and was only at the Pentagon to attend the meeting. All those in the executive suite were killed instantly, including Strickland, Beilke and Maude.

Because he had been watching television, Yates guessed that a third plane had struck the Pentagon. But many others still had no idea what had happened. Some suspected a bizarre construction accident, others a bomb. Soon after Yates found safety in the courtyard, word came that another plane was 20 minutes away and emergency personnel began evacuating people to an area near the river. "I was scared. That was when I understood what had happened," he says. That was also about the time he remembers a medic looking at him and telling someone, "Get him out of here now."

For families, the agony was excruciating. When she heard the Pentagon had been hit, Ellen Yates tried to call her husband but couldn't get through. Hours later, a Navy chaplain called her. Yates wasn't familiar with military protocol, but she was sure a call from a military chaplain wasn't good news. He told her he had prayed with her husband, but could tell her nothing about John's condition or even where he was. It was worse than not having any information. It would be hours more before she would track him down at Arlington Hospital in Virginia.

Remarkably, Martha Carden was uninjured, but reaching her husband proved difficult. Her husband, retired Army Col. Gil Gilchrist, had jury duty at the Fairfax County Courthouse that morning. She couldn't get him directly, but finally left a message at his office. When Gilchrist learned what was happening and saw on television where the Pentagon was hit, he knew Martha's offices were destroyed. "I really thought I lost her," he says, the grief from that day still apparent in his voice. His heart told him to go to the Pentagon, but his head told him to go home and wait. It didn't occur to him to check his office for messages until much later. He was at the couple's home in Springfield when the dogs started barking about 2:45 p.m. He went to the door to see the normally meticulous Martha getting out of a colleague's car. She was soaking wet, her clothes were askew, and she was filthy and covered with scrapes. "It was the prettiest site I'd ever seen," he says, unable to hold back tears.

The phone rang all night. A lifetime's worth of colleagues, friends, relatives and old acquaintances from all over the world tracked Carden down - not easy, since the phone is in her husband's name. The outpouring was enormously gratifying, and recounting her experiences proved therapeutic. "I told my sister I felt like I attended my own funeral - and it was good," she says.

But there were other calls, the calls telling her who was missing, who wasn't accounted for. When Debra Strickland called late that night to ask if she knew anything about her husband Larry, it broke Martha's heart. "When I heard her voice, I just knew."

The following day was awful as the euphoria of survival wore off and reality hit home. "Sept. 11 was terrible, but Sept. 12 was the darkest day," Carden says. "That's when I learned that all these truly outstanding people were gone. My little staff, all sitting at their desks doing their jobs, doing what they were supposed to be doing. How I wish they had been goofing off down on the concourse. They were good people. Murdered because they were Americans."


Many who escaped from the second-floor personnel office have no idea how they did it. Among themselves, they've told their stories hundreds of times, and still there are many gaps. Propelled by faith and friendship and duty, they helped each other. "There were angels there guiding us," says Lois Stevens. "Time and space didn't exist."

The randomness of survival remains a heavy burden for many.

Tracy Webb suffered second- and third-degree burns to her head and arms, but the injury that has been hardest to cope with is the loss of her dear friend Odessa Morris, who had gone to the restroom while waiting to go for a cup of coffee with Webb. Her co-worker and friend Day Olaes, who also was waiting for Webb that morning, severely broke her leg when she jumped from a second floor window to escape the fire. Olaes walks with a limp now and takes sleeping pills to get through the night. She's afraid to return to work at the Pentagon, so she works out of another Army office in Alexandria, Va. "I've asked myself a thousand times over what if I'd just told them to go on to the cafeteria without me," says Webb. "Odessa, Day and I, we all three were close. Odessa was retiring this year. She was looking forward to that and spending time with her grandchild." Webb sometimes takes the subway over to Olaes' office and they have lunch, but it's not the same. When she hears planes flying overhead, Webb sometimes calls Olaes to talk through the fear that still grips her.

Sometimes Regina Grant sees Lt. Col. Dennis Johnson walking down the hall at the Pentagon before she catches herself and remembers that he died on Sept. 11. "He was such a wonderful man. Everyone who knew him thought so," she says.

Grocery shopping at the commissary one day last fall, Julia Lyons thought she saw her supply sergeant, Jose Calderon. She was so startled she dropped a jar, shattering it. Lyons, who manages logistics for the personnel office, had gone to a doctor's appointment at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington the morning of Sept. 11 only to discover her appointment was for 9 p.m., not 9 a.m. That mistake probably saved her life. Had she been at her desk, she likely would have died that morning. "I've never made a mistake like that before with a doctor's appointment," she says.

Instead of speaking at Larry Strickland's retirement party, Carden found herself preparing remarks for his funeral. It was the hardest thing she's ever done. "He was as close as a brother. I miss him just horribly. You know, I was just dreading his retirement, because I knew how much I'd miss him. Now I'd give anything to see him retire."

The funerals went on for weeks. "Last fall almost seems like a dream. It was surreal. We went to funeral after funeral," Carden says. "You want so much to make it better for the families but you can't," she says. "Nothing can make it better."


Grunewald suffered serious smoke inhalation and eventually was hospitalized after spending hours helping rescuers and other injured workers. He was released from the hospital on Sept. 12, but didn't rest for long. The next day he began working what turned into months of 16- and 17-hour days and weekends at the Pentagon to get space ready for the Army personnel office to move back into the building. It was hard to be there. "You could smell it, you could see it, you could feel it every day," he says. "One of the hardest things was being able to hear what seemed like nonstop funerals at neighboring Arlington Cemetery. The new offices look directly into the cemetery.

"My wife was very understanding," Grunewald says. "It was a very hard time. I had a lot of people counting on me to get the organization back up and running and I neglected my family. They just accepted it." He'd attend his son's soccer games in his dress uniform so he could leave and go directly to a funeral before returning to work at night. It's difficult for him to talk about that time. Grunewald knew 31 of the people who died at the Pentagon.

The personnel office was temporarily re-established in another office building in Alexandria, but Army leaders were eager to move back into the Pentagon, for both symbolic and practical reasons. "I took my responsibility very seriously. I had a lot of people come to me and say 'Rob, get me back into that building,'" Grunewald says. Coordinating the return to the Pentagon was immensely complicated. Not only was the section affected by the attack off limits, but a substantial amount of office space adjacent to the area had been vacated and stripped prior to Sept. 11 during an ongoing renovation of the 60-year-old building. It was into a portion of this area that the Army offices were returning. Allocating the space, building it out, laying carpet, putting up drywall, installing wiring and everything else required for the new tenants was an enormous task and involved hundreds of people.

"They hung up the pictures of all the people who died, and you walk by them every day. You can't get away from it. Every day we come to the source of the tragedy. There is absolutely no getting away from it," Grunewald says.

Simple tasks, like purchasing supplies, were fraught with emotion. The job of equipping the new offices fell to Julia Lyons, the only person in the management support section not killed or seriously injured. Odessa Morris had managed the budget, but she was dead. Sgt. 1st Class Calderon was authorized to buy equipment with a credit card, but he too was dead, as was the woman in the Army budget office who handled the transactions. "It was so overwhelming," says Lyons.

Last winter, most of the Army personnel staff returned to the Pentagon. In August, they were planning to move again, into the rebuilt offices they had occupied on Sept. 11.

John Yates would spend many weeks in the burn unit at Washington Hospital Center, followed by excruciating daily physical therapy sessions to recover from the second- and third-degree burns he suffered over 35 percent of his body. He counts himself lucky. This spring, he returned to work at the Pentagon, where he is an inspiration to many of his colleagues. Extreme heat and cold bother him, because his sweat glands were destroyed and he no longer has the capacity to regulate his body temperature. He still struggles to maintain his concentration sometimes, and he can't touch his fingers to the palm of his hand or type very fast, but he's getting better. His wife quit her job so she could provide the kind of help he needs at home, and they've just moved into a new house, something they had been planning before Sept. 11.

Yates has good days and bad days. Some mornings when he arrives at the Pentagon, he sits in his car, overwhelmed with a desire to turn around and go back home. But he never does. He waits for the feeling to pass, and then goes to work. Every day in the office he hears planes fly overhead, going to and from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. He struggles to maintain his composure when that happens, and he mostly succeeds.

During his first visit to the therapist he sees weekly, she asked him what he wanted to achieve. "I told her I wanted to be the person I was on Sept. 11, before this all happened. She told me that's the one thing I can't have. But I can be better." And he is, every day.

Twenty-four Army employees in what was then known as the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel were killed on Sept. 11. Spc. Craig S. Amundson, 28
Max Beilke, 69
Col. Canfield Boone, 54
Sgt. 1st Class Jose Orlando Calderon-Olmeda, 44
Ronald F. Golinski, 60
Lt. Col. Stephen Neil Hyland Jr., 45
Lt. Col. Dennis M. Johnson, 48
Maj. Stephen V. Long, 39
Lt. Gen. Timothy J. Maude, 53
Odessa V. Morris, 54
Spc. Chin Sun "Sunny" Pak, 24
Debbie Ramsaur, 45
CWO4 William R. Ruth, 57
Col. David M. Scales, 45
Marian Serva, 47
Gary Smith, 55
Patricia Statz, 41
Sgt. Maj. Larry L. Strickland, 52
Lt. Col. Kip Taylor, 38
Sgt. Tamara C. Thurman, 25
Lt. Col. Karen Wagner, 40
Maj. Dwayne Williams, 40
Edmond Young, 22
Lisa Young, 38