“It was horrible:” Sen. Patrick Leahy remembers 9/11

Local News

Vermont, like the rest of America, was stunned by the attack.

Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy was in Washington on the day of the attack. He said he’s been thinking a lot about the 9/11 anniversary and the memories of that day are still vivid.

“It was horrible,” Senator Leahy said. 

Senator Leahy was on his way to the U.S. Supreme Court when he got word that a plane had hit the south tower.

“The first news was that a small plane hit one of the twin towers,” Senator Leahy said. “I grabbed the phone and called a friend of mine at an office nearby. He said “yes, that’s what we hear.” I asked how the weather was. He said it was clear as a bell. I said that it wasn’t an accident, you’ve got a terrorist attack.”

When they heard an explosion at the Pentagon, he ordered the immediate evacuation of his senate office.

“I said don’t worry about turning your computers off or your phones,” Senator Leahy said. “Just leave, leave. And leave quickly if i’m going to be the last one out.”

One memory the senator has is how lawmakers from both parties came together on the steps of the Capitol to sing “God Bless America”. He would like to see that spirit of cooperation re-kindle. 

“I remember all of us walking through the Capitol talking with each other,” Senator Leahy said. “Nobody cared what party you belonged to, they just cared what we could do for the U.S. We seem to have forgotten that.”

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