Senior Chief Musician Jim Logan: On the morning of 9/11 I was at Anacostia Naval Station receiving leadership training. Our class was interrupted at one point by someone informing us that a plane had flown into the World Trade Center. Soon, another came in to tell us a second plane had flown into the other tower. To be honest, my reaction to this news was disbelief. Surely this was not true and simply a class exercise on what to do/how to react to crisis.
Soon after, a third interruption informed us that a plane had crashed into the Pentagon. I looked through a window just over my right shoulder and saw massive clouds of smoke coming from the area of the Pentagon. It was then, and only then, I realized this was no drill.
I immediately thought of Dec. 7, 1941 and fully appreciated what must have gone through the minds of those serving in Pearl Harbor as they watched in shock and disbelief as Japanese Zeroes attacked U.S. soil.
Logan plays clarinet in the Concert Band.
Chief (select) Musician Kenny Carr: I was going to work after running an errand in Crystal City. Before going into the store I heard about the first plane hitting the building in New York. As I was driving up the ramp to 395 to go to work, I saw a huge plume of smoke rising from the Pentagon; I realized something was terribly wrong and stopped in the parking lot at the Navy Yard.
I happened to see one of my band mates listening to music in his car, completely oblivious to what was happening, and informed him that I didn't think we should rehearse today. I headed home to get my kids out of school. I made it on the highway before the traffic jam.
I sat down at my television, and watched the rest of the news of that horrible day.
Carr plays guitar in the Cruisers popular music ensemble.
Musician 1st Class David Babich: In my senior year of high school, shortly after 9 a.m., I was walking to my next class in the crowded hallways. I overheard a few people mention something about a disaster or plane crash but didn’t think much of it. I arrived at my psychology class and we began as usual. A few minutes into class a teacher walked in and whispered something to our teacher. He immediately turned on the television and tuned it to a national news network. I then realized this wasn’t a typical plane crash. Everyone was asking questions and our teacher couldn’t keep up. I remember seeing replays of when the second plane hit the World Trade Center. A student asked if what we saw was a computer generated image and the teacher said, “No, this is actually happening.” After the Pentagon was hit, another student asked if these were accidents. Our teacher brought us to a scary realization by saying, “Right now, America is under attack.”
Later, I made my way to band rehearsal and everyone wanted to watch the news. We watched a few minutes and then our director turned off the television. We were disappointed but then surprised when he told us to get our instruments because we were going outside – an unusual place for us to rehearse. He had us play our slow, hymn-like warm-up for the surrounding neighborhood. It didn’t mean much to me then but now that I look back, I understand how appropriate and fateful it was [that we were playing] “Eternal Father, Strong to Save “(the Navy hymn). By the day’s end, I knew the world would never be the same.
Babich plays saxophone in the Concert/Ceremonial Band.