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NEWS | Sept. 10, 2021

Americans show support for survivors of 9/11 attack on the Pentagon

By David Vergun DOD News

A number of organizations and individuals laid wreaths at the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial Sept. 7, including Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen H. Hicks. She also spoke with some of the survivors of the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon.

In a video made earlier that day she shared some of what she experienced on 9/11.

A woman speaks with people at a memorial.
Pentagon Survivors
Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen H. Hicks, speaks with survivors of the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon at the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial, Washington, D.C., Sept.. 7, 2021
Photo By: Air Force Staff Sgt. Jack Sanders, DOD
VIRIN: 210907-D-XI929-1214
A woman lays a wreath at a memorial.
Pentagon Memorial
Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen H. Hicks, during a private ceremony with Pentagon survivors, places a wreath at the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial, Washington, D.C., Sept.. 7, 2021
Photo By: Air Force Staff Sgt. Jack Sanders, DOD
VIRIN: 210907-D-XI929-1213

On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, Hicks was inside the Pentagon working on resource issues relating to policy for the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

Hicks said she opened her office door and saw people moving at a very brisk pace through the corridor but at the time, she didn't know that American Airlines Flight 77 had hit the Pentagon on a different side of the building from where she worked. She soon learned what happened and exited the building with thousands of others.

The Pentagon at that time had a child care center just outside the building so Hicks said she immediately went there to pick up her 2-year-old son.

"We were walking away from the building and he said, 'Mom, look up. Mommy look up in the sky,' and there was smoke coming from the other side of the building," she said.

A woman lays a wreath at a memorial.
Wreath Ceremony
Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen H. Hicks, during a private ceremony with Pentagon survivors, places a wreath at the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial, Sept.. 7, 2021
Photo By: Air Force Staff Sgt. Jack Sanders, DOD
VIRIN: 210907-D-XI929-1210

What's really remarkable about Sept. 11 is everyone in the Pentagon that day who was exiting did so in an orderly fashion, not running past each other and making sure everyone was walking in the right direction, she said.

"People were very much looking out for their fellow persons," she added.

Hicks noted that the first responders quickly arrived on the scene and there were many stories of heroism that day.

A row of wreaths is displayed in a row outside.
Remembering the Day
Wreaths of remembrance are displayed at the entrance of the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial at the Pentagon, Sept. 8, 2021.
Photo By: Air Force Staff Sgt. Brittany A. Chase, DOD
VIRIN: 210908-D-BM568-1032

Other wreaths that were laid that day were from:

  • Arlington Fire Department
  • American Airlines
  • Student Veterans of America
  • Institute for Veterans and Military Families
  • Wounded Warrior Project
  • Fisher House
  • Travis Manion Foundation
  • National Football League/Washington Football
  • Military Spouse Advocacy Network
  • Military Child Education Coalition
  • USO
  • Daughters of the American Revolution
  • Operation Homefront
  • Major League Baseball/New York City
  • American Red Cross
  • Veterans of Foreign Wars
  • Blue Star Families
  • American Legion
  • Navy League
  • Armed Services YMCA
  • Association of the United States Army
  • Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors
  • Charlotte Motor Speedway
  • Military Officers Association of America
  • National Military Family Association
  • Marine Corps League
  • Marine Corps Association
  • Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America
  • Esposas Militares Hispanas USA
  • Gold Star Wives of America
  • Modern Military Association of America

A row of wreaths is displayed in a row outside.
SLIDESHOW | 3 images | Memorial Display Wreaths of remembrance are displayed at the entrance of the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial at the Pentagon, Sept. 8, 2021.