He was in a 9 a.m. meeting in the U.S. Capitol, with a west-facing window looking toward the Pentagon. Alongside top Democrats, he watched images of a plane slamming into the World Trade Center.
Before long, capitol security burst into the room. Smoke was rising from the Pentagon; it was time to go. And so Dorgan evacuated, along with other leaders of the most powerful nation in the world. They fled from something they didn’t yet understand, walking outside into a day that changed the country forever.
“I just can’t forget going out into this beautiful September morning in Washington, D.C., and then looking up and seeing these F-16s flying air cover for the Capitol,” Dorgan said. “Thinking about the beauty of the day and the unbelievable tragedy of the day — it’s a moment I’ve never forgotten and a vision I’ve never forgotten.”
Byron Dorgan, in 2017. (Forum News Service)
The attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, were 20 years ago today. And after so much time, it’s become the first page in a chapter of American history, one