This is the image that is forever seared in my head. I was there. I saw the smoke, smelled the death, saw the destruction, and felt the sadness. Here was the symbol of our freedom, the Pentagon. It looked like a hot knife sliced right through warm butter. The chills, sadness, madness, sickness, and any other “…ness” that you could think of, I felt.
We departed the Pentagon and were reassigned to protect the Vice Presidential Mansion which is on the U.S. Naval Observatory. We worked side by side with the Secret Service. I didn't know if the vice president was there or not but I had a mission and was going to protect that building in accordance with my orders.
It was days before I went home. During my trip back home I remember seeing on all the over passes - American Flags flying and Styrofoam cups that displayed, USA. I was never more proud to be an American in my life than that time.
9/11 is hard for me. I cannot watch the tributes, I cannot watch the shows, and I cannot get through that day without thinking of the very moment we were under attack. 9/11 has changed me forever. To those who lost loved ones - my heart goes out to you. One day out of 365 I always ask the same question, “Why?”
Let the memories of what happened 10 years ago be a living testament to future generations in hopes that they may understand that our culture, freedoms, and way of life are targeted by evilness. No matter what we do or say, nothing would have prevented what happened. I was honored to work beside such great men and women that day. It’s a true example of what Americans and America stands for.