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FLIGHT LINE
From the PENTAGON

A note from the survivor -

Thank you to all who remembered that I work in the Pentagon and called to ask how I was. Thankfully, I'm just bruised and battered a bit, but otherwise OK.

I work (worked, probably) in 4D460. If you look at the schematic of the Pentagon in today's "Washington Post," you'll see that the airplane hit the E ring just to the side of corridor 4, in other words, right in front of my office. The E ring was partially blown back into us, but the newly renovated spaces are very wel constructed because all that happened was that I was knocked to the floor and the furniture tossed around a bit.

My window was blown into the room and the door knocked off its hinges. The ceiling partially collapsed and the floor buckled, the smoke rolled in and the sprinklers went off. It was like a scene from a movie with people holding bloody bandages to their heads and wandering around dazedly.

Somehow all of my people and I got out before it collapsed and burned. I'll be trying to understand why for a long time.

From the survivor to a friend - << Diane:

Thanks for your note. I appreciate it. You sure do understand the layout of the Pentagon. I went by yesterday to see the damage for myself -- I'd run out of that side of the building toward the Potomac when the plane hit and hadn't seen it up close. Unbelievable. And we were so lucky. The renovation put steel re-enforcing beams next to the original all concrete columns, and these held up the third, fourth and fifth floors long enough for us to evacuate. The poor people on the first and second floors had no chance as the plane sliced right through their spaces. I'll never question my luck again.

I'm certain that what's necessary will be done, and soon. There was a look of resolve in people's eyes that one doesn't often see. The world has changed, yes; but now it's time for us to improve it by, as you say, extinguishing this scourge.

See you soon. Dick

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

One more story from a Navy (N78) survivor - and so much more for which we can all be thankful - thanks to ET, from Dutch

We are alive and well, however we will be moving to new spaces as ours no longer exists. When the plane hit, we felt a mild jolt, the lights went out, and we looked out the windows on the area between our D ring spaces and the E ring to see only orange flames. On reflection and seeing the building from the exterior, it is apparent that the airplane hit outboard of our spaces and passed under our ring, continuing into the C ring. What we were seeing was probably jet fuel from the aircraft. If you look at the pictures of the area that collapsed, we are just inboard of that. Can't tell if our floor collapsed, but that is what we are told. There was an orderly evacuation from our spaces.

Apparently all N7 personnel are OK, however there were some losses in N3/N5 and I believe N6, as well as a substantial number of Army personnel. If the aircraft had to hit anywhere in the Pentagon, this was probably the best place. The exterior had been reinforced during the renovation and the windows had been beefed up.

Besides that there were fewer people occupying these spaces at this time. One of our intel officers was down on the first deck of the C ring and was in the middle of the action. He was able to make his way through the rubble and out to the atrium between C and B ring. Might lucky to be alive as it will become apparent that a good number of those in the same space did not make it.

Kind of puts a new perspective on what might be important. I expect we will be dislocated for an extended period of time (likely > a couple of years), but will get normal e-mail access after a while. Once again thanks for thinking of us. VR ET

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