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"As I came up along the Pentagon I saw helicopters. That's not strange. It's the Pentagon. Then I saw the plane. There were only a few cars on the road, we all stopped. I know I wanted to believe that plane was making a low descent into National Airport, but it was nearly on the road. And it was headed straight for the building. It made no sense. The pilot didn't seem to be planning to pull up anytime soon. It was there. A huge jet. Then it was gone. A massive hole in the side of the Pentagon gushed smoke. The noise was beyond description. ... I called my boss. I had no memory of how to work my cellphone. I hit redial and his number came up. "Something hit the Pentagon. It must have been a helicopter." I knew that wasn't true, but I heard myself say it. I heard myself believe it, if only for a minute. "Buildings don't eat planes. That plane, it just vanished. There should have been parts on the ground. It should have rained parts on my car. The airplane didn't crash. Where are the parts?" That's the conversation I had with myself on the way to work. It made sense this morning. I swear that it did. ... There seems to be no footage of the crash, only the site. The gash in the building looks so small on TV. The massiveness of the structure lost in the tight shots of the fire. There was a plane. It didn't go over the building. It went into the building. I want them to find it whole, wedged between floors or something. I know that isn't going to happen, but right now I pretend. I want to see footage of the crash. I want to make it make sense. I want to know why there's this gap in my memory, this gap that makes it seem as though the plane simply became invisible and banked up at the very last minute, but I don't think that's going to happen."
As I came up along the Pentagon I saw helicopters. That's not strange. It's the Pentagon. Then I saw the plane. There were only a few cars on the road, we all stopped. I know I wanted to believe that plane was making a low descent into National Airport, but it was nearly on the road. And it was headed straight for the building. It made no sense. The pilot didn't seem to be planning to pull up anytime soon. It was there. A huge jet. *
* CORRECTION: Before Site Version 1.055, this page contained a shorter and garbled excerpt from Skarlet's account in the Helicopter section. Because the excerpt was taken out of context, it incorrectly implied that Skarlet reported seeing a helicopter rather than a jetliner hit the Pentagon. In fact Skarlet's full account is quite emphatic that a "huge jet" flew into the Pentagon, and is consistent with all the other eyewitness accounts.
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I don't want to see footage of the crash. It seems so unhealthy to see the planes in NY crash over and over. To see the building fall again and again. I saw it once, the Pentagon is shambles. I don't know that I want to see the crash ever again. Even the pictures of the blaze are too much right now as the firefighters try to contain it. It's weird to watch it on TV while the same smoke drifts by your windows. I've showered and showered. Ultimately, I think I'm going to throw away my clothes. I don't think the smell will ever come out. I've reached my parents. My brother is already on a Classified assignment. Who the hell knows where he is. I'm assuming he's safe. I have no idea. Posted by skarlet at September 11, 2001 08:41 PM