11 Days of Heroes to September 11th, 2003: Mark Lewis

Image from 9/11 Memorial & Museum

On the morning of September 11th, 2001 at the Pentagon, the typical hustle and bustle was underway with over 23,000 service members heading to work. Army Colonel Mark Lewis began his day as the director of plans and resources for the Army G-1. He hoped to have a meeting with Lieutenant General Timothy Maude, Army deputy chief of staff of personnel, but his schedule was tight and his secretary tried to fit him in at a later time. Lewis left the G-1’s office, then the building jolted. Fumes of jet fuel filled the corridor as American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon.

Lewis described people running around trying to find a way to safety. Many people were directed to the end of corridor four, connecting the A-ring of the building and Lewis’ office, which had a double-door that opened to the A-ring, then led outside of the Pentagon. Lewis helped wedge the doors open and began shoving people through the offices so they could evacuate the corridor and into the A-ring, ultimately to get away from the fire and out of the building.

From an account from the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, Lewis then made phone calls until they could account for the whereabouts of all Army personnel once first responders took over the rescue.