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Shaken Nation Recovers from Terrorist Attacks.

Airmen worldwide shared the anguish of the world community Sept. 11 when terrorists attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, prompting heroic rescue efforts, nonstop recovery work and a pinpoint focus on homeland defense.

Aircraft and bluesuiters from locations around the United States were called or volunteered themselves into action to support work in lower Manhattan, New York City, and at the Pentagon to help repair the damage and recover the bodies of lost comrades.

At the Pentagon, search and rescue operations continued. More than 200 firefighters from Arlington, Va., and other nearby towns, extinguished a fire that burned for nearly three days. Many officers, noncommissioned officers and defense department civilians risked their lives to pull others from the superheated steel and concrete. At press time, nine people were dead and 124 were unaccounted for from the Pentagon attack.

Secretary of the Air Force James Roche contacted the Federal Emergency Management Agency immediately following the first reports of the attack and offered the help of Air Force people and equipment.

In turn, the Air Force sent doctors, nurses and other support teams from its largest medical facilities in Northern California, Texas, Ohio, Virginia and Mississippi. Firefighters and other airmen on leave, on temporary duty or assigned in the New York area aided in recovery and clean-up work at the World Trade Center site. Air Force members around the world also turned out in droves to donate money, clothes, food and blood.

As humanitarian efforts continued, the military ratcheted up its worldwide defense posture. Bluesuit security forces troops found renewed purpose, checking ID cards, inspecting vehicles and ensuring Air Force bases remained safe. Meanwhile, Air Force fighters patrolled the skies over the eastern seaboard, providing overwhelming joint capability with Navy aircraft carriers and destroyers.

President Bush summoned 35,000 Reserve forces, saw the damage firsthand and conveyed the seriousness of the terrorists' actions by reminding the world of the nation's military might.

There's no question in my mind that the resolve of our military has never been stronger. And we will win the war, and there will be costs. But the military folks understand that," the president said. "This is war."

Secretary Roche and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. John Jumper asked the Air Force to "carry on" with its mission.

"As airmen, we stand united and prepared to seek justice and defend freedom," they said in a joint message.

More bluntly, as the week of one of America's most heartbreaking catastrophies drew to a close, President Bush sent a clear signal to the nation's military forces, a defining rallying cry that needed only two words to convey its deep sense of purpose.

"Get ready." Chief Master Sgt. Robert Walk., first sergeant for the Air Force Pentagon Communications

Agency, and other volunteers helped stretcher crews transport injured people to awaiting ambulances Following the terrorist attack. Other volunteers helped setup Red Cross disaster services. Emergency response crews were provided Food and a rest area as they worked around the clock to secure the damaged area caused by the hijacked commercial airliner.

Firefighters and emergency foams struggle to contain a spreading fire at the Pentagon Following the terrorist attack when a hijacked commercial airliner crashed into the building an Sept. 11. The attack occurred about an hour after two other airliners struck the World Trade Center twin towers in New York.

A U.S. flag stands outside the Pentagon after the jetliner crashed into the building. Firefighters From surrounding communities helped to extinguish Fires.
COPYRIGHT 2001 U.S. Air Force, Air Force News Agency
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Tudor, Sgt. Jason
Publication:Airman
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2001
Words:583
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