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9/11 Pentagon survivor on the ‘palpable reminders of death’


Maj. Ryan Yantis was in the Pentagon looking at the news on Television when he observed the 1st plane hit the Earth Trade Centre.

“When the second one particular strike there was no question in my brain this was a deliberate terrorist assault on America,” mentioned Yantis, who was a community affairs officer at the time.

Nonetheless, he experienced critical organization to attend to. Just before 9:30 a.m., Yantis still left his place of work to escort a senior officer to a conference held in yet another element of the creating — but the senior officer could not recall in which.

“We stopped in Corridor 4 and we received into a bit of a heated argument over where the meeting was likely to be.” Finally, they uncovered the assembly in Corridor 7, and ended up eight minutes late when alarms started likely off.

“The Pentagon experienced been attacked involving Corridors 4 and 5.”

If Yantis and his colleague had gone straight to the conference on time, “we equally would’ve been correct at the center of the effects and most likely seriously wounded or killed.”

As he hurried to the crash, Yantis observed “a big roll of smoke that arrived all-around the corner, so I evacuated and went exterior. The west encounter of the Pentagon was on fireplace.

American Airways Flight 77 experienced flown straight into the constructing, killing 59 travellers and 5 hijackers.

Ryan Yantis, viewed listed here at the Wauconda Heroes of Liberty Memorial in Wauconda, Unwell., narrowly missed remaining in the crash zone at the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001.
Roger Kisby
A satellite image of the Pentagon shows extensive damage to the western side and interior rings of the multi-ringed building at 11:46 a.m. EDT September 12, 2001 in Arlington, Virginia.
Ryan Yantis was in the Pentagon observing the information when he saw the to start with plane strike the Planet Trade Center.
spaceimaging.com/Getty Images
first responders on scene following an attack at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001 in Arlington, Virginia
Initially responders at the Pentagon soon after American Airways Flight 77 crashed into the making on Sept. 11, 2001.
Federal Bureau of Investigation by means of Getty Visuals
FBI agents, fire fighters, rescue workers and engineers work at the Pentagon crash site on September 14, 2001, where a high-jacked American Airlines flight slammed into the building on Sept. 11.
FBI brokers, fireplace fighters, rescue personnel and engineers get the job done at the Pentagon crash web page on Sept. 14, 2001.
Tech. Sgt. Cedric H. Rudisill/Department of Protection/Tribune Information Provider by means of Getty Pictures

“I noticed that there have been a couple of stretchers. I grabbed a person and started … encouraging have individuals out.”

For hrs, the former Eagle Scout retained working again in and out to get medical provides or carry injured individuals to the aid station. “There was smoke and soot and palpable reminders of demise, devastation and damage in all places,” he reported.

Yantis, who is now 60 and retired from the Army as a lieutenant colonel in 2006, admits it took him many years to feel or discuss about what happened that day. But a single minute has usually remained vivid in his mind.

Ryan Yantis points to the names of people who lost their lives at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001
Ryan Yantis factors to the names of persons who missing their life at the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001.
Roger Kisby
Ryan Yantis touches a beam from one of the World Trade Towers
Ryan Yantis touches a beam from a Planet Trade Middle tower.
Roger Kisby

“This minor Navy officer walks over to me and she’s in a long sleeve black sweater, knee-size Navy uniform skirt, small heels. And she questioned me for my T-shirt.”

Eradicating his uniform shirt, he peeled off his sweaty, smoke-drenched tee, assuming she would use it as a bandage.

“She thanked me, dunked it in a bucket of h2o and then pulled it above her lengthy brown hair. I asked her if she was Alright,” he mentioned.

She told him yes: She was on a look for-and-rescue mission. “She just did not want her hair to catch on hearth,” he defined.

By late afternoon, Yantis was pulled back to his communications job, composing an announcement about the initial casualties. A final report calculated that at minimum 125 people today performing at the Pentagon ended up killed, which includes 55 military staff.


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But the genuine feeling of loss didn’t strike Yantis until he claimed back to do the job the following working day.

“I arrived at the Pentagon at 5 a.m. It’s however on fire. As I was crossing the south parking great deal, it virtually experienced an apocalyptic truly feel. [It’s a] massive parking lot [and] nearly vacant except for the handful of cars — and the realization arrives above me that the individuals whose autos have been listed here didn’t generate house for a reason.”

Workers remove debris at the Pentagon September 15, 2001
Staff get rid of debris at the Pentagon on Sept. 15, 2001.
Stephen J. Boitano/Getty Visuals
Ryan Yantis poses for a portrait in front of the Wauconda Heroes of Freedom Memorial in Wauconda, IL on August 22, 2021.
The legitimate perception of loss from Sept. 11, 2001, did not strike Ryan Yantis until he documented back again to function the upcoming day and noticed the vehicles that have been nevertheless remaining in the Pentagon parking whole lot.
Roger Kisby



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