Where Were You on 9/11? Defense Secretary Leon Panetta & USAF Mark Lawson

The morning of 9/11:

  • Beautiful sunny late summer morning in the northeast
  • Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was on Capitol Hill, briefing members of Congress on oceans issues
  • Received news of the trade towers being attacked
  • Realization that our country was under attack

Chaos and confusion:

  • Shock and dismay as news trickled in
  • Members of Congress were briefed on the attack
  • Consensus to evacuate and ensure safety
  • Pentagon also struck during this time
  • Younger generation watched the events unfold on television

Impact on the younger generation:

  • Mark Lawson, a senior airman in the Air Force, was in fifth grade during 9/11
  • Initially thought it was a movie
  • Schools were shut down, parents came to pick up children
  • It didn't fully hit home until later as an adult
  • Sense of America being attacked was felt even as a child

Inspiration to serve and protect:

  • Mark Lawson's experience on 9/11 inspired him to join the Air Force
  • Witnessing the attack motivated him to serve his country
  • Understanding the significance of the events grew with age
  • Today, as an adult, the impact of 9/11 is deeply felt
  • Sense of duty to protect America

National unity and resilience:

  • 9/11 brought Americans together in solidarity
  • The nation mourned the loss of lives and showed resilience
  • Increased patriotism and support for first responders
  • Remembrance ceremonies held annually to honor the victims
  • Lessons learned from 9/11 continue to shape national security measures.

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