Allen Payne: ‘9/11 was our Pearl Harbor moment — we knew we had enemies’

Unidentified US government workers mill around near the White House and the Old Executive Office building 11 September, 2001, in Washington, DC.

U.S. Justice Department employee recalls the day of chaos and panic near the White House on 9/11

Allen Payne worked at the Justice Department in a building two blocks from the White House. “We were shocked and angry when the planes hit the WTC,” he recalls. “And then we realized that we might be next.” Rumors soon swirled that the White House and the State Department had been attacked. Government workers were soon told to go home as heavily armed police cordoned off the area, backed up by helicopters and armed vehicles. “It was frightening walking past the White House, seeing people run out and people moving everyone,” says Payne.

This started his walk home — shared by tens of thousands of other Washington workers who had no other way of reaching their homes. “I stopped in [upscale neighborhood] Georgetown, where the bars were open. They were packed with people watching the news on TV.” Then, crossing over the bridge, he saw the smoke rising from the Pentagon. “9/11 was our Pearl Harbour moment,” he reflects. “We knew we had enemies and knew they could be unconventional, but who could have expected this? We used to think we were insulated from violence.”


Boston Marathon: Marathoners ready to run, honor victims

Scores of runners will cross the Boston Marathon starting line in Hopkinton Monday and embark on a 26.2-mile journey to Boston in honor of the victims.


MIT student, Rhodes scholar, dies

Eliana Hechter, a student at MIT and Harvard, died, her family said. The announcement was posted on MIT's website.


Video: Car crashes into Cambridge store, man arrested…

A Cambridge man was arrested on gun and drug charges after crashing his car into a Massachusetts Avenue storefront early Saturday morning.


Body found believed to be missing Fitchburg boy…

The body of a child found off of a highway in Sterling last week is likely that of missing Fitchburg boy Jeremiah Oliver, authorities said.


Loop are, er, um, back in the loop

Experimental noise rock band Loop's three mid-1980s to early-1990s albums, “Heavens End,” “Fade Out” and “A Gilded Eternity,” were mercifully reissued.


'Orphan Black' recap: Episode 1, ‘Nature Under Constraint…

Welcome to your first Season 2 “Orphan Black” recap! Hopefully Tatiana Maslany can help Tatiana Maslany get through this, with the help of Tatiana Maslany,…


Poems from prison: 'How to Survive a Bullet…

Celebrate National Poetry Month with, "'How to Survive a Bullet to the Heart."


Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.


MLB video highlights: Red Sox defeat Orioles, 4-2

Brock Holt the difference in the Red Sox' win


NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump…

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump Bruins in Game 1


MLB video highlights: Orioles top Red Sox, 8-4…

John Lackey roughed up for second straight outing


MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox


Packing: The one thing you need in your…

A new survey that looks at the travel habits of 50,000 people around the world has revealed that Western and Asian globetrotters have different priorities…


Is your chair making it hard to talk?

Ever wished there was an office chair that could make impromptu meetings and discussions more private? The Cristiana Wing Chair is an asymmetrical armchair which…


Live large at these luxury hotels

From Thai boxing lessons and macabre Dracula tours to the Australian Outback, the Four Seasons hotel chain launched a series of new travel packages this…


4 things that every summer camp should have

Alan Saltz, director of the 92nd street Y program lists things that every summer camp should have.