Dr. Linda Holifield-Kennedy, MGMT
On Tuesday, September 11, 2001, I was in my office at the Pentagon in Washington, DC. I was a medical officer for Civilian Employee Health Services. I recall a nurse running through the clinic yelling for everyone to go to the breakroom. “Something happened in New York!"
When I arrived in the breakroom, I saw on the TV that a plane had crashed into Tower 1 of the World Trade Center. As my colleagues and I continued to watch, the second plane crashed into Tower 2. I remember thinking “OMG what is happening here?!?!" About 30 minutes later the military came running through the clinic shouting “Get out People! Get Out! Get Out!“ As I and hundreds of others were running out of the Pentagon, I turned around to see plumes of black smoke and flames pouring out of the top of the building. Time Stood Still…. Shortly after the building was evacuated, the medical team was escorted back into the building to treat those who had been wounded in the explosion.
The events of 9/11 and the days and weeks that followed are as vivid, to me, today as they were 20 years ago. I was a witness to History. A horrific chapter of our American History. We must always be vigilant and never take for granted the freedoms afforded us by those who have and continue to sacrifice their lives so that we can live ours.
The Department of Homeland Security was created due to the events of 9/11. I was honored to have served as a medical officer at the Pentagon. That honor was extended when I joined DHS, where I will continue to support those who protect and serve our Homeland.