Pentagon Memorial 2011
September 11, 2011 by USA Post
“I have no notion of time,” says Yates. Or, at what point it is known that the U.S. had been attacked? “I had no idea. I was in shock.”
These details are of little importance for Yates, because what haunts him still remember a decade later.
On the morning of September 11, 2001, just before 9: 37 am, Yates was doing what millions of Americans were doing – in shock watching the terrible images on television of the burning towers in Lower Manhattan .
At the Pentagon, where he served as safety manager for the U.S. military, few people had any real idea, but what was happening.
Yates remembers calling his wife to say he was fine. And remember her admonition: “For the rest of the day, the work under his desk.”
Yates chuckled. And then the plane hit. “It was not just the tremendous roar, explosion. There was fire coming up behind me and on my head,” the official said 60 years of age. “I was impressed by the air. The room was dark at the moment.”
If the attacks against the World Trade Center was the moment when America lost its sense of security, the attack on the Pentagon put the exclamation point on a new American reality: the vulnerability.
Men and women who worked at the Pentagon that morning had little reason to fear that it could be at risk. But before they had the opportunity to take their first coffee break on September 11, the arc of his life had changed forever. For many who were in the Pentagon that day, surviving 9 / 11 was just the first challenge.
“Everything happened very quickly.” Mark Bright is standing on the west side of the Pentagon, just below the place where American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the building at 850 kilometers per hour. Ten years ago, Bright was a Pentagon police officer, directing traffic from 75 feet away.
“I turn and see a stain and a loud noise. I mostly heard the noise,” says Bright, a stocky 42-year-old who lives in the suburbs of Marlborough superior, Maryland
“It just got louder and louder as they approached, and after the explosion. All I saw was a bright light and then there was black smoke.”
Bright ran the wound in the building and began helping survivors, dazed and hurt, get as far as possible from fire. “Anyone who needed me, I took them off,” he said. “The only words out of my mouth were:” Let’s go this way I have to get from here you can walk, you can move ..? “A week before 9 / 11, U.S. Army lieutenant colonel. Vincent Kam had just moved into a newly renovated office and structurally reinforced in the second outer ring of the Pentagon. He was in a meeting in the small conference room, with a window that opened onto the outer ring when the explosion occurred.
“I can see a fireball coming in the window,” says Kam. Thought – I’m dead.
“That’s one of the worst things you can do in an explosion is to look through a window. But I was lucky. The window is not broken, not broken. If the window was not renewed part of the Pentagon, where the strength of protection measures were installed, would have been history, “he says. “I can say that has survived is because there was no foresight.”
Kam retired from the Army in 2003 but is back at the Pentagon, largely because of what happened on 9 / 11. The resident of Woodbridge, Va., now works as a civil military expert of “force protection” – finding ways to improve the physical safety of members of the armed forces when attacked.
On the 10 th anniversary of 9 / 11, not looking backward but forward.
“There are guaranteed a future. I live my life to the fullest because that is what I can tell today. I always think that,” he says. “Some people think it is not the destination. I think more in terms of what preparations he had made the preparations that saved my life.”
John Yates had been standing less than 40 meters away from where Flight 77 sliced ??into the Pentagon. Disoriented but still conscious after the explosion, he began crawling over broken glass, falling ceiling tiles and broken light fixtures. The smoke was thick and pressing the ground, leaving enough air to breathe Yates.
“The site was launched only two. It was like someone lifted a Barbie dream house, shook it, put it in place, and turned the temperature of 75 degrees to about 1,800 degrees,” he says. “It was hot. Even the carpet on the floor was hot. It burned in the footsteps of my hands.”
The panic was dissolved in terror as Yates groping in the dark for a way out I thought it was close, only to realize that he had erred in the wrong direction, toward the back of a large office space.
“This was a room that is about 35,000 square meters, just row after row of open work stations. Dilbertville is what everyone calls it. I had no idea where I was,” he says.
“I’ve always been afraid of dying in a fire. Do not know why. It’s something I’ve always thought that was the most horrible death. And here, my death was near.”
Yates remembers thinking he would never see his girlfriend – the woman who had married just 15 months earlier – again. But somehow found his way back through the office – about 80 meters, he has been told – and heard a voice through the direction of an open door.
“My guardian angel,” said the person, still unknown, which called it.
Finally, he fell into an open corridor and a solid wood door that was torn by the force of the explosion of a jam in the steel door.
“I had pieces of skin hanging from his fingers like a sausage that has been boiled too long and it explodes the case,” he says. After a period of time – Yates not know how long – a doctor approached him and began to cut the clothes from his body. Others began to direct victims to waiting ambulances. “A doctor came and said: ‘He goes first.” “That’s when Yates knew he was badly wounded.
It is often said 09/11 changed everything for Americans. Most people endured ups and the airport security line, swallowed the cost of passports and struggled to get to decipher the terror alert system. But if you were in the U.S. military, 9 / 11 brought great sacrifices. William Capa, who worked at the Pentagon by Secretary of the Air Force, was on the opposite side of the building, when Flight 77 crashed. He heard a “loud noise”, but the vibrations and evacuated.
No longer after 9 / 11, however, the U.S. Army layer Reserve unit was activated. He was sent to Iraq after the U.S. invasion, and narrowly escaped a car after being ambushed by insurgents.
“I never expected to spend Christmas in Baghdad,” the layer. “The phone rings. You have a couple of weeks to get his life in order, and no one knows when they will return.” It was the same story of First Sergeant. Rob Moxley and Sgt. Bruce McGrath, members of the Army National Guard of Maryland were among the first responders to the Pentagon after the attack.
Moxley and McGrath spent nearly a year at the Pentagon after their units were activated, and then served overseas deployments. Moxley was sent to Afghanistan and McGrath to a U.S. base in Uzbekistan.
Hundred eighty and four died at the Pentagon on 9 / 11, and John Yates has 36 of them as friends and acquaintances.
Yates suffered burns of second and third grade in more than 38 percent of his body. The tops of the forearms, hands, back and buttocks are scars. He spent two and a half months in hospital, he underwent skin graft operations and intensive occupational therapy. He still sees a therapist for the disorder of post-traumatic stress.
However, he returned to work in June 2002 and continues working as a security manager at the Pentagon. Plans to spend the morning of the 10th anniversary commemoration ceremonies, as every year, and then meet with the family for the rest of what is always a “solemn” day.
“I can not help but think about it – when I look in the mirror when I wash my hands I can not help I do not let that control my life …”
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