Voices from Arlington — Larry Bergmann

Voices from Arlington — Larry Bergmann

When we heard the news of the first plane hitting the World Trade Center, we

immediately went into our storefront, which has a television. There, we watched

the horrible images coming out of New York in total shock and anger. When we

heard that a plane had hit the Pentagon, we went to our rooftop where we could

see the terrible black smoke pouring into the air.

Later on, we noticed incredible amounts of people walking up Lee Highway, an

unusual sight to say the least. They had left Washington, D.C., on foot, as all

public transportation was shut down, and were just trying to get home. It was a

warm day, and these people had walked a long way, so we began inviting them into

our store. Once inside, they were able to cool off, use the restroom, watch the

events unfolding on TV, and make phone calls to their loved ones.

For the next few hours our storefront was packed with people as we all stood

there staring up at the TV in disbelief. With all of the people in there, a wide

range of emotions was understandably on display.

In the aftermath, it was our duty to help in whatever small way we could. We

were honored to offer free cleaning services on fire department uniforms from

firefighters who performed so selflessly and heroically at the Pentagon.

It was a day of senseless tragedy that touched and changed us all in many ways,

and we pray never to see another of its kind.