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‘I would like people to remember’: Jeffersontown PD chief rushed to help victims after 9/11 attack on Pentagon

In the immediate aftermath of the attack, Jeffersontown Police Chief Rick Sanders joined...
In the immediate aftermath of the attack, Jeffersontown Police Chief Rick Sanders joined countless others running toward the Pentagon to help.(WAVE 3 News)
Published: Sep. 10, 2021 at 7:11 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - On the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 9/11, people who witnessed the violence and destruction first-hand look back with deep reflection.

Jeffersontown Police Chief Rick Sanders was on the 12th floor of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration Headquarters in Springfield, Va. when he saw a passenger jet rocketing toward the Pentagon across the street.

“I saw it and remember vividly the American Airlines insignia and thinking, ‘Where’s it going to hit?’” Sanders said. “When it hit, you could just see the flames shoot up in the air. It actually — it rocked our building and the windows we were looking out of.”

Sanders was a DEA special agent working as an executive assistant to the agency director. In the immediate aftermath of the attack, he joined countless others running toward the Pentagon to help.

He said the 20th anniversary of the crash has him recalling details still just as vivid.

“What I like to remember more is after that plane penetrated, that I saw DOD, FBI, DEA, Virginia, everybody come together as one and run toward the Pentagon to see what we could do to help those survivors,” Sanders said. “It’s rhetoric when we say, ‘We’ll never forget.’ I would like people to remember that years to come. I think after the initial attacks we did come together as a country, but I think every year thereafter we’ve gotten farther apart.”

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