Thursday, September 11, 2008

Where Was I?

I was at home, after a long night at the Discovery Channel. I got up and flipped on the TV to see the second tower get hit. I stayed riveted to the TV set, still in robe and slippers. The TV said another plane was unaccounted-for, possibly headed to Washington, maybe flying under the radar.

The skies had been cleared of all air traffic, so, around 11 AM, when I heard loud jet engines approaching, I ran out on the back porch to look. The first thing I noticed was a strong smell of burning rubber; I live 5 miles south of the Pentagon. I looked to the tree line where the noise was coming from. I was dreading what I might see next. But over the treetops came a two-engine executive jet, bearing the FEMA executives back to Washington - they had been at a national meeting that day in, I think, Denver, remember? And flying wingtip-to-wingtip was an F-15. Andrews Air Force base is nearby, so we are used to seeing fighters coming and going. But this one was different. This F-15 had its weapons racks fully loaded with rockets, drop-tanks, the whole interception megillah.

So those two planes went over the house at a hundred feet or so. I guess they were landing at National. I think the F-15 was just an escort, so nobody would shoot at the FEMA plane.

Later that afternoon the streets were choked with thousands of pedestrians walking home. The Pentagon had been evacuated. Bus and rail service had been canceled - the Pentagon is a major bus and Metrorail station - and thousands of Pentagon workers were walking home.


New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

You work at the Discovery Channel? We'll have to meet at the Tastee Diner sometime. Or the Quarry House if we want to tie one on.

Turk Turon said...

That would be cool, but I left Discovery in 2003. Many years ago I worked on Fenton Street in Silver Spring.