Chaos at the White House: Lubbock Rep. Arrington remembers 9/11

Published: Sep. 11, 2022 at 9:37 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - As the World Trade Center and Pentagon burned, chaos unfolded at the White House. Lubbock congressman Jodey Arrington was in Washington D.C. that day.

“I was in an interview with a gentleman from Pennsylvania who we were considering for an assistant secretary position in the administration,” Rep. Arrington said. “Then time almost stopped when the second plane hit the tower.”

Millions of Americans were watching that day as American landmarks came under siege.

Rep. Arrington was at the White House that morning as the reality of the situation set in.

51 minutes after planes hit the World Trade Center, the attack continued in Washington D.C.

“The third plane hits the Pentagon and at that point, it was chaos,” Rep. Arrington said. “Even in the White House. People were screaming and hollering. Women were taking their heels off. The word was, there was another plane heading for the White House or the Capitol.”

Rep. Arrington says for those who are old enough to remember that day, the images can’t be forgotten.

“Our Pentagon destroyed,” Rep. Arrington said. “Fire and smoke coming from the symbol of American military strength. Towers crumbling to the ground, soot coving firefighters and first responders.

“We also saw images of a country uniting together in the face of an attack from this evil. You saw a president standing on the rubble at Ground Zero., telling our country effectively that I’m going to to go after the people that did this and anyone who had anything to do with harboring the terrorists and we will bring them to justice the American way. That American strength projected at Ground Zero at the epicenter of the attack of 9/11, I think really was a shot in the arm for all Americans.”

Nine days after the attack, President Bush declared a global war on terror. It would become our nation’s longest war.

Trillions of dollars were spent and thousands of American lives lost, both on 9/11 and in the decades after. The ultimate sacrifice that we as a nation will never forget.