Local 9/11 survivor reflects on Pentagon attack
9/10/2021 | 9:30 a.m.
JACKSON COUNTY - A local 9/11 survivor who was inside the Pentagon on September 11, 2001 is reflecting on the tragedy 20 years later.
Lyndon Willms was working as a Joint Strategic Planner in the Pentagon on the morning of 9/11/2001. He says the attack on the Pentagon came as no surprise following the attacks in New York.
"We knew that we were a target. It was just a matter of time," he said. "In fact, the side of the building Flight 77 hit was just remodeled to withstand a bombing. That was the only side of the building with that capability on 9/11. Had the plane struck my side of the building, there would have been a lot more casualties," Willms continued.
Willms says he was watching the attacks in New York on television when they felt a shudder. "We honestly didn't think too much of it. We didn't even know a plane had hit our building until we saw in on the TV," he said.
"We went from preparing for war one minute, to being in a war the next."
He says that, despite the attack, nearly everyone in the building returned to work the next day. "That is a prime example of American resilience," he said. "We all lost co-workers, and we all lost a part of our lives, but we were already thinking about ways to counter-attack the very next day," Willms continued.
Willms says America is now in the same position it was in the late 90s before the attacks happened. "We planned for this stuff everyday, and we need to keep our guard up god forbid another attack happen."