9/11 Pentagon Attack Detailed by Defense Department Historians
Submitted by sallyc on Tuesday, September 11, 2007 - 16:17
The Department of Defense Historical Office has published a definitive account of the attack on the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. From the description: "Pentagon 9/11 provides the most comprehensive account to date of the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon and aftermath, including unprecedented details on the impact on the Pentagon building and personnel and the scope of the rescue, recovery, and care-giving effort. It's evocative narrative is based on firsthand accounts of survival, tragedy, and heroism drawn from hundreds of interviews, and features 32 pages of previously unpublished photographs, diagrams and illustrations." According to the authors, the book also gives the civilian world a glimpse into the way the military responds to crisis and how it takes care of its own. It also shows the successful coordination and the response of the emergency response groups in the area. More on the book can be found at http://www.defenselink.mil/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=47355
Review by Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security "On the Homefront"
From the Inside Flap
[Text for dust jacket flap (on softcover version, will appear on back cover)]
For more than a half-century its distinct shape and stature as the headquarters of the U.S. military establishment has made the Pentagon one of the most famous and recognizable buildings in the world. On September 11, 2001, its symbolic and institutional importance also made it a target of the most deadly terrorist attack on U.S. soil. If the breathtaking destruction of the Twin Towers in New York’s World Trade Center caused unparalleled shock and grief, the attack on the fortress-like structure that housed America’s military command center was perhaps more stunning yet for its shattering of the nation’s sense of security.
Pentagon 9/11 is the story of both the terrible damage and harm inflicted on the building and its occupants that day and the enduring strength that in the days and weeks that followed restored the structure, salvaged lives, maintained operations, and affirmed American purpose and resolve for friends and foes alike. Beginning with the circumstances and immediate impact of the attack, Pentagon 9/11 records in compelling and unprecedented detail the destructive path of American Airlines Flight 77 as it crashed through the building, then relates the epic struggle of on-scene survivors and rescuers as they led colleagues to safety and the actions of first responders to fight the fire, insure security, and furnish care to the dying and injured.
Five authors, working from more than 1,300 oral history interviews, have collaborated to produce an evocative and authoritative narrative, weaving information gleaned from technical after-action reports with the firsthand accounts of participants and observers. The large cast of contributors includes surviving victims, medical attendants, FBI agents, search and rescue personnel, building engineers, forensic specialists, state and local authorities, DoD family assistance staff, and hundreds of other agency employees, volunteers, and eyewitnesses From the smoke and chaos of the event emerge vivid scenes of the physical wreckage and human toll but also countless acts of courage, grace, and heroism among military and civilians suddenly functioning side by side in an unconventional theater of war. Pentagon 9/11 chronicles the full sweep of this complex experience, heretofore depicted only in fragments, and offers important and reassuring lessons learned for future emergencies.
Supplementing the wide-ranging narrative are charts, diagrams, and extensive photographs and illustrations that provide graphic testimony to the scale and force of the attack as well as the reconstruction and recovery. At once chilling and inspirational, Pentagon 9/11’s words and pictures dramatically remind us of terrorism’s long arm and the powerful message brave individuals and indomitable if not invincible institutions send to our adversaries in triumphing over tragedy.