D.C. Officials Reflect On Feelings From 9/11 | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

D.C. Officials Reflect On Feelings From 9/11

Play associated audio
The 9/11 Memorial at the Pentagon.
Alyson Hurt (http://www.flickr.com/photos/alykat/5682698982/)
The 9/11 Memorial at the Pentagon.

When Washington D.C. came under attack on Sept. 11 ten years ago, the people who keep the city running were as shocked and surprised as the rest of the country, as they explain in their own words:

Kenneth Ellerbe, D.C. Fire and EMS Chief: "At the time I was a deputy chief in the operations division. I never got a call. As soon as the Pentagon was struck, I knew I had to go to work.  [When the Twin Towers were hit] I had some of my own ominous predictions because I used to teach building construction in the fire service.  I was in the deputy chief’s office watching television, and had predicted this event would bring the towers down because of the intensity of the jet fuel and the compromised structure. 

I was concerned, but anytime an instant like that occurs in the country we are one unified body to a great degree and the hope and prayer was that everybody would turn out to be safe. But that didn’t turn out to be the case. It reminds me that we have a perilous job, we have a dangerous job."

Susan Peck, former chief technology officer for Washington D.C.: "I was at 13th and F St. NW at the National Press Club giving a talk, when two men came into the room where I was speaking and closed off the drapery on the windows. They shut the curtains, they said, 'Washington is being attacked.'

The next couple of days I just remember thinking over and over again what a strong, wonderful people we were, and that no matter what was happening, we were going to prevail.

Vincent C. Gray, Mayor for Washington D.C. : "I think we should remember the heroism of the people who literally gave their lives to save the lives of others. It probably was the most dramatic example of what it means to be an American in the history of this nation. People didn’t flinch working to try to save others. And I hope that’s what we remember most about this, that the American spirit –- even in the wake of this tragedy in the wake of the confusion -- stepped up to do what was necessary in order to work to preserve freedom, to work to preserve life. 

D.C. is a different city now, and frankly the things we did freely prior to 9/11 we can’t do anymore. I think 9/11 forever has changed the sensibilities of Washingtonians, and security that people felt before.

Listen to the interviews in their entirety.

NPR

Comedian Andrea Martin: 'I Don't Think Age Has Anything To Do With It'

Now in her late 60s, Martin says she's still "excited and enthusiastic" about her work and doesn't have any intention of retiring. She published a memoir in September called Lady Parts.
NPR

Nutmeg Spice Has A Secret Story That Isn't So Nice

Nutmeg is a feel-good holiday spice. But it once caused serious bloodshed and may have even been a reason the Dutch were willing to part with Manhattan in the 1600s.
WAMU 88.5

Special Prosecutors Should Handle Civilian Shootings By Police, Holmes Norton Says

Norton says mayors and governors could stem anger over civilian shootings by police by appointing special prosecutors to handle them.
NPR

Facebook Finds That Not All Users Want To Review Their Year

The social media giant's "Year in Review" app has upset some who prefer to forget 2014's unpleasant memories.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.