Escape from the Pentagon

This posting originally appeared three years ago. It’s now been 19 years since 11 September 2001.


Ann-2016On the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001, Ann Parham arrived early at the Pentagon, like she always did.   As Chief of the Army Library Program, she was responsible for establishing policy for Army Libraries around the world.  She had been stationed in Korea, Germany and the United States.   At fifty-eight, she was at the apex of her 35-year career.  Her beige linen dress, purple silk jacket, and low-heeled beige pumps were professional and practical, well suited to her trim athletic build.

pentagon layoutAnn’s office was in a newly renovated wedge of the Pentagon, iconic home of the Department of Defense. The five-sided Pentagon was made up of five concentric, separated rings and five floors.  The center courtyard was a park-like setting, providing a short cut from one side of the building to the other.  Ten corridors intersected the five rings like spokes on a bicycle wheel.  From the air, the…

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15 thoughts on “Escape from the Pentagon”

  1. An extraordinary post, Pat. I’m glad you re-shared it. I wasn’t in DC until 2008, but it always bothered me that most of the world seemed to forget that more than one location (besides the Twin Towers) was targeted on that horrible day. I said something along those lines to my (then new) coworkers, and their group comment was “We haven’t forgotten.” Then around the conference room table, they all told me their stories of that day, unrequested, spontaneously. My agency’s main campus was in Alexandria, rather than the Pentagon or downtown DC. But “as the crow flies” (or sadly the 747), it was close. Their fear and pain was palpable as they spoke, even 8 years later.
    So, I thank you for also telling this story. Hugs on the wing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Teagan. I was there at Ft McNair, in Washington, DC. Ironically Ft McNair is the DC offsite location for Congress if the Capital building became inhabitable because ‘experts’ said that Ft McNair (where the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers meet) was not in the direction of the prevailing winds in case of a nuclear attack. On Sept 11, 2001, that joke seemed too surreal. I have heard many people say that the military training of the people at the Pentagon helped keep panic at bay and casualties lower than might otherwise have been expected. Thanks for commenting and sharing your DC story with me. Hugs flapping strongly back west to you.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. haha, I just had to explain to Rosalinda too. # 1- I overslept for the first time in years and # 2 – I needed to add the links of my past 9/11 posts to the one I had planned.
        I didn’t make another Patriot Day post because I didn’t know how to make it original from my others.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Pat, is it permissible to share this on FB? An important story, I think, that needs to be shared widely. Only my friends would be able to see it on FB. Maybe Ann has shared this already, don’t even know if she is on FB.


    Sent from Mail for Windows 10

    Liked by 1 person

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