Naval War College Honors 9/11 Pentagon Victims
The war college held a ceremony to remember the 10 fallen students and alumni.
The Naval War College held a ceremony Friday afternoon honoring 10 of its students and alumni who lost their lives during the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the Pentagon.
Three students and seven alumni were killed in the terrorist attack.
The ceremony was held at the Patriots Memorial on the campus, which was created in memory and honor of Capt. Gerald F. DeConto, Lcdr. Robert R. Elseth, Capt. Lawrence D. Getzfred, Angela M. Houts, Lcdr. Patrick J. Murphy, Lt. Jonas M. Panik, Capt. Jack D. Punches, Jr., Cdr. Robert A. Schlegel, Cdr. Dan F. Shanower, and Maj. Kip P. Taylor. Hundreds of fellow students, faculty and staff members attended, as well as family members of Capt. DeConto.
“Their memories, along with the others who were killed that day, are enshrined in the hearts of all Americans,” War College Professor John E. Jackson said.
The Patriots Memorial was partly made from a five-foot section of limestone recovered from the west facade of the Pentagon and donated in September of 2002.
“People alive then will always remember what they were doing when those planes flew, wings level, gear up, full throttle, into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon,” John N. Christenson, Naval War College president said during his remarks. “It’s been 10 fighting-back years since that day.
"It has been increased vigilance, tightened security and dedication from those in law enforcement, homeland security, the intelligence community and the military that has provided a successful shield for the United States."
Lt. Kevin Shaeffer gave his own account of the events that day when a hijacked plane dove into the Pentagon. He recounted the horrific series of events, from the explosion that sent him flying across an office to clawing his way out of the rubble, yelling for help. Shaeffer, who suffered second- and third-degree burns on 50 percent of his body after the attack, had a long road of recovery ahead of him.
The attack was a “shockwave start to a turbulent decade,” Shaeffer said.
The ceremony also including hanging a wreath on the memorial, as well as playing Taps. Officers also read the names of each victim and rang a bell in their memory.