People with local ties give firsthand accounts of attacks

first_imgPentagon employees Floyd and Rhonda Rasmussen talked about skipping work in the morning, but she had an important briefing scheduled.So they went to work, where Rhonda’s office wound up right in the path of a hijacked airliner.“It ran over her desk,” Floyd said.Floyd Rasmussen is among several current or former Clark County residents who went to work 10 years ago in Washington, D.C., and New York City and became part of 9/11.Yvette Brown-Wahler was a Navy commander working in the Pentagon.Brian Baird was in his congressional office near the Capitol.Lawson Fite was walking from his Twin Towers subway stop.They tell us how Sept. 11, 2001, unfolded for them.Lawson Fite boarded his New York City subway about six minutes before the world changed.Fite, a 1996 graduate of Hudson’s Bay High School, caught the subway at 8:40 a.m. and started to read a spy novel as his train headed for the mall below the World Trade Center.His first hint that something had happened was the scream of sirens coming from the street above him.“I had never heard so many at once,” said Fite, and they all were racing toward the World Trade Center. He remembered the 1993 attack, when terrorists tried to bring down the World Trade Center with a truck bomb.“It would have been really weird to be present at that attack,” Fite told himself.“Weird” doesn’t begin to describe the scene when Fite walked up a stairway and onto the street. More accurately, he tried to walk up the stairway. It was a slow-motion march: Go up one step and wait; go up one step and wait.“In New York, you move quickly. If there is a backup on the subway, peoples’ natural reaction is to get irritated: ‘What’s going on?’ As I got closer to the top of the stairs, I still could not see out. However, I started to hear people reaching the top of the stairs and, one by one, saying “Oh, —-!’ Now I was wondering what the hell was going on.last_img

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