9/11 survivor: Nation must stay resolute
Friday, November 12, 2010
In 2001 and 2002, Col. John Hagler II — currently the Missouri National Guard’s chief of joint chiefs of staff — was assigned to duties at the Pentagon, just outside Washington, D.C.
“On Sept. 11, 2001, I stood on the grounds of the Pentagon, very close to the impact of American Airlines Flight 77,” Hagler told more than 100 people Thursday in the Capitol Rotunda, recalling the jet crash into the U.S. military headquarters that happened about a half-hour after two similar jets had plowed into the World Trade Center’s twin towers in New York City.
“Inside that building, the building where I worked, my friend, Maj. Duane Williams, and 183 more — my brothers and sisters in arms — lay dead from the overpressure and the fire and the debris which was accelerated beyond the speed of sound, as tons of aircraft aluminum and jet fuel crashed into that building.”
Hagler choked up twice while telling the story, then recalled getting his paycheck at the end of the month and noting: “I received in that normal monthly pay, $150 extra dollars ‘combat pay.’”
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