“9/11’s one of those days that everybody remembers,” Cheney told those in attendance. “Everybody pretty well knows where they were at that time, whether it was home, going to school or going to work. [It was] such a dramatic event that it …
Former Vice President Dick Cheney reflected on a long political career while headlining the Park County Republican Party’s Lincoln Day Dinner in Cody. But one day stood out above all others: Sept. 11, 2001.
“9/11’s one of those days that everybody remembers,” Cheney told those in attendance. “Everybody pretty well knows where they were at that time, whether it was home, going to school or going to work. [It was] such a dramatic event that it had an impact on all of us.”
Cheney was in his office in the West Wing of the White House when he found out that two airplanes hit the World Trade Center towers in New York.
“After I’d been there for a short period of time, people started to gather in my office,” he said. “Condi Rice, the National Security Adviser, came in and Josh Bolten, who later became Chief of Staff, came in. We had eight to 10 people there and all of a sudden, the door burst open and it was one of my Secret Service agents. He came around behind my desk, put his right hand on the back of my belt and his left hand on my left shoulder, lifted me out of the chair and propelled me out of the office — obviously something they’d practiced.”
After a third airplane hit the Pentagon, the vice president later heard that another airplane was headed for the White House.
“This officer came in and said, ‘Sir, we have a plane headed for Crown [the White House] at a high rate of speed. Are we authorized to take it out?’” Cheney said. “And I said, ‘Yes.’ He stepped out, came back in and asked again — he wanted to make certain he heard it properly — and I said, ‘Yes.’”
That airplane turned out to be Flight 93, where the passengers fought back against hijackers and forced the plane to crash in rural Pennsylvania. Dick Cheney described what the passengers did as “one of the most courageous acts I can imagine.”
Ironically, the former vice president took part in Continuity of Government training as a Wyoming Congressman in the 1980s, which prepared for a much worse event than 9/11.