Diana Ogilvie: ‘Facing the horror directly gave us a common purpose’

A view from the executive offices of the Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington, D.C., shows the White House in the foreground and a cloud of smoke billowing from the Pentagon after it was attacked on Sept. 11, 2001.

I awoke to a day like any other, save for the fact that it was my birthday. I left for work a little later than normal. In the car, I nonchalantly tuned the radio to the station on which I depend to navigate my way through the notorious traffic of Washington, D.C. As I approached the city, the news flash of the crash at the first of the twin towers hit the airwaves. I immediately felt a sense of dread and thought it was a terrorist act even while the announcer called it a freak accident.

Subdued and anxious, I hurried to my military duty station in Washington and arrived shortly after the second strike. All entrances and exits to the base were sealed for security purposes soon after. My co-workers and I could see smoke billowing in the distance from the direction of the U.S. Capitol building, and we heard reports of another incoming plane — but communication lines were clogged and we weren’t able to send or receive calls.

Not long after, our commanding officer addressed the troops. He said that life as we had known it had been forever changed. Our nation would never be able to go back to the innocent times we had enjoyed before this day. Listening to him was a surreal experience, but facing the horror directly gave us a common purpose.

Eventually, the base was opened and personnel were allowed to go home. Our family trickled home, changed people with no interest in celebrating birthdays, only shock at the events of the day. Seeking comfort that dark night, I walked outside and looked up into the eerily still and silent sky.

- Diana Ogilvie is  a musician for the US Navy band based in Washington, D.C.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

Movies

Shia LaBeouf disorderly conduct case pushed to September

A judge on Thursday adjourned until September the disorderly conduct and harassment case against actor Shia LaBeouf, who was charged with disturbing a Broadway theater…

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

NBA

NBA great LeBron James sends 800 cupcake apologies…

By Kim PalmerCLEVELAND (Reuters) - NBA star LeBron James, whose recent return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio sparked a frenzy…

NFL

Jerry Reese confident with Giants, skipping countdown clocks…

Last year, Giants GM Jerry Reese installed a countdown clock in the locker room to inspire Big Blue to play in their own stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII.

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.