Survivors Remember Pentagon Attack
by Betsy Jibben, Reporter
September 11, 2013 5:28 PM
Wednesday marks the 12th anniversary of September 11 when terrorists attacked the United States. While most Americans remember and reflect on the day, one couple says the attacks are alive in their memories every day.
At the time, the Pentagon saw up to 23,000 workers every day. Lynn and Janet Hartsell were two of those workers, employed by the Pentagon at the time of the attack. Wednesday the couple shared their memories of September 11.
"I still think of the people, I still think of the fear I felt walking out," said Retired Lt. Col. Janet Jones-Hartsell.
Most of us experienced September 11 through pictures and tv, but that's not the case for Janet Hartsell. She was in The Pentagon at the time of the 9-11 terrorist attack.
"We were very fearful at any moment that we could be hit again," said Janet Hartsell.
She says she was in her boss' office when she felt a huge jolt and a muffled explosion.
"Our group went to the hallway 100 yards then we realized we saw smoke up ahead so we realized that wasn't the way to go," said Janet Hartsell.
Shown in black is the area affected by fire, where the plane hit. The light grey area was affected by water damage. Janet's office was in that light grey area which was part of the target. It's equivalent to seven or eight blocks away from the plane.
"It just a very emotional day even after 12 years," said Janet Hartsell.
Once she was out of the building, she says there was no cellphone service, so finally got her first call to her mother hours later.
"I guess I remember about my family devastated and I could not get through to them," said Janet Hartsell.
Lynn's office was hit by the plane, but he was off in Maryland at the time. Once he got back his office was unrecognizable,
"When I was allowed to go back in, there was nothing standing in the space where our three offices were except for the concrete pillars," said Lynn Hartsell.
Lynn says even though his department was destroyed, and he did lose some close friends, every single one of this crew survived.
Lynn Hartsell says at the time of the attack, that part of the Pentagon was undergoing renovations. Hardly any of the staff was in the area that was hit. The number of dead could have been a lot higher.