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9-11-2001 Memories.

I believe we've done this in the past and I know so many remember every detail of where they were and what they were doing 16 years ago today. I saw something similar on the IUSS Facebook page this morning.

I'll go first.

My memory of September 11, 2001

I was on temporary assignment (5 days) to Washington D.C. on September 11th, 2001. My 0900 meeting at the Pentagon Communications Center had been delayed 4 hours due to a scheduling conflict. Instead, I spent the morning in briefings at COMNAVTELCOM on Nebraska Ave northern D.C.. When the attacks occurred we were dismissed. It took me 3 hours to drive through D.C. (about 7 miles) to my hotel in Alexandria, VA. I drove right past the Pentagon as it burned. But by the grace of God I could have been inside. Six of the individuals I was scheduled to meet with that morning perished. The Communications Center was directly where the plane hit.

CDR Young Kim and I were supposed to meet in a cafeteria in the Pentagon for breakfast and then head to the Comms Center for a 0900 briefing and tour. My meeting a day earlier on Monday afternoon at COMNAVTELCOM ran late and they asked me to come back in the morning to finish. So, Young and I rescheduled Tuesday's meeting to lunchtime. The six who died in the comm center worked for Young. She attended all of the funerals. Back in Virginia Beach, my wife Kathy (then CO, NOPF Dam Neck) had my itinerary for that day and my cell phone was not working - I think all cell phones were out in D.C. for awhile. It was several hours before I got through to let her know I was OK.

On my way out of the building I stopped with a group of people around a television in a break room. We watched the smoking Trade Center and witnessed the second plane hit. I had a sickening feeling in my stomach and heart. My resolve to continue to serve was strengthened at that moment. I will never forget!