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This was the majority of the reason I joined the Army and gave the government 8 years of my life. Deployed to Iraq twice and Afghanistan once. I found out Artillerymen are the most "flexible" combat MOS... since we did everything from drive trucks (88M job), doing our actual FA job, to an infantry mission on the Afghan deployment. Best and worst time of my life.

To hell with those child molesting, animal raping sick pieces of subhuman shit.:mad:
 

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Eighteen years now, and I still remember watching the towers come down, watching the TV monitors in the lobby of the nuclear waste remediation firm I was contracting at (engineering design quality assurance) in Columbia, MD. Just surreal, everyone was dead quiet, just staring at the screens. Many people bailed from work early after listening to the clueless talking heads on TV that were doing their best to panic the populace. Finally left work at 5, only to see practically empty expressways, something NEVER seen in the DC-Baltimore area, much less during what should have been rush hour.

Haven't been to the Twin Tower Memorial, but have been to the memorial site outside the Pentagon. The hijackers had a clear shot at the building by descending over Arlington Cemetery, an easy flightpath that no longer exists now that the triple spires of the Air Force Memorial are in place.

184 persons passed at the Pentagon (counting the doomed passengers on Flight 77), but the carnage in Arlington is seldom mentioned in 9/11 coverage. Everything is WTC, other than minor mention of Shanksville, PA, now that that memorial is in place. Typical NooYawk.

 

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Tonight has definitely a ride on the way-back machine... I don't think I have logged in since ~2006. I probably posted in this thread back in 2001, but a quick search did not show anything.

I live/ lived about 4.5 miles from the Pentagon. That morning my wife (long since ex-wife now) was sitting in stopped traffic on the highway right next to that side of the building when the she heard a plane hit the World Trade Center. She called to tell me, I turned on the TV, and as we talked I watch as the second plane hit the second tower. 20 minutes later the plane hit the Pentagon, but my wife was already up near Maryland by then. Three days after the crash I was asked to go look at part of the building just beyond the crash site. It was a visit I will never forget. Walking past dozens and dozens of mourners and still-hopeful family members holding candles outside one of the main entrances to the reservation... Seeing the Red Cross's tent village set up to support the hundreds of tired rescue and recovery workers who had been working around the clock for over 72 hours. The FBI's full scrutiny of any/ all visitors to the site, and their ongoing search for evidence amid the first responders. Entering a single door and walk down a long unlit corridor with water flooded on the floor, and seeing the rescue workers' codes for the room searches on the office doors, and knowing people had died tragic deaths in some of the rooms I was walking past. Turning at the end of the corridor and seeing the brightly lit massive pile of debris -- the size of a football field, with rescue workers and recovery workers with cadaver dogs crawling over the pile like ants, while a train of construction workers with sad expressions steered out wheelbarrows full of debris.

I got to watch over the next year as the crash site was cleaned up and rebuilt. But that is not part of what will stay with me. My memories are of the grief of those with lost and missing loved ones, the grit and determination of the rescue workers, and the overwhelming extent of the devastation.

I knew a couple dozen people who worked there, but thankfully none of them were in that part of the building when the plane hit. Some of them had actually toured a bit of it earlier in the morning, looking at issues from the building renovation that were still unresolved, but thankfully they finished up about a half hour before the crash. Over the years I found out about some friends who had relatives, in-laws, etc. die that day. Enough people died that it is hard to find someone in the area that was not connected to at least one of the victims.

Now, 18 years later, it is still remembered but not nearly as much as 10 years ago. I guess that is largely because this is such a transient area. Also the memorial is not the easiest place to access/ visit.
 
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