A Birthday To Remember…

Date Submitted: 08/22/2003
Author Info: Tiffany (Statesboro, GA - USA) 
Occupation: Government/Military
Lived in NY on 9.11.01?: No
Knew someone who perished?: No

I was in the Army and I took leave so I could be home for my birthday (Sept. the 11th). I was working with my dad that day since I was home for a week. My dad came into the office and said “Happy birthday, there’s a plane in the Pentagon.”. I started laughing and told him to shut up (he is always saying stuff to mess with me). He told me that he was serious and to turn on the TV, well I just went ahead and called my Grandmother. She said “We are under attack and you get your butt back to that Army camp right now because everyone is on re-call Jen called here looking for you (My bestfriend/battle buddy)!!!

Well, let’s see…I am from Alexandria, VA and the Pentagon is about 10 mins away, so how exactly was I supposed to get back when the city I lived in was under attack as well and no one was going anywhere? They closed Metro, they closed the Airports, everything was closed! So, I called my Captain who hated me as it was and instead of telling me to wait at home, he told me to go to Ft.Meyer. So, I waited 2 days and I went (there was no way to get there before the 13th). When I got there, no one who wasn’t mil. was allowed on post and I had managed to lose my ID somehow! I went to the guard station and I said “Look, I am a soldier too, I was on leave but my CO told me to come here and for you all to try to get me back somehow because it seems that there’s no way to get back.” They searched me (since I had no ID) and then they took me to the MP Building to make sure I was who I said I was and then they found me a room to stay in for a few days. They always got the plane tickets from the Pentagon for people to fly back so they said they couldn’t get me one and even if they could, the airport wasn’t re-opening any time soon.

So I spent 3 days there until finally there was a bus I could take. I was so terrified on that bus ride, I was sure that someone was going to get on it and kill us all. I didn’t know what to think. As we drove past the Pentagon, you could still see parts of the plane and also where it had hit, there was melted steel and a whole chunk of the building was gone with nothing but a black ring around it. We all sat quietly and stared at it as we drove by, I cried and I noticed a few of the people around me crying as well. I said a prayer and thanked God for keeping me and my family safe and asked him to help the people who had lost so much that day to be strong. I will never forget what happened that day. Not that I could because everytime someone looks at my ID they say “Are you serious, that’s your BIRTHDAY?” It’s so tragic that all those lives were lost and God Bless the Families, I know you can never forgive or forget, but don’t worry…neither can we.


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