CAPE CHARLES, Va. - September 11th, 2001 is a day forever etched into Jerome Mapp`s mind.
“I can remember seeing the fear and the horror. I can remember the chaos,” Mapp explained.
What started as a regular work day at the Pentagon quickly turned into a nightmare.
“I grabbed one of the co-workers in the office and she and I fled and an admiral who was in charge of the office, just waved us out and told everybody to just run,” Mapp said.
Once he and his co-workers made it outside safely, they say the Pentagon up in flame with smoking billowing out of the windows.
“There was a loud explosion. It felt like someone actually fired a missile right at the pentagon,” the former editor and Chief Write for the Navy News Service said.
American Airlines flight 77 crashed into the building`s western wall, killing 184 people.
“When I left the office to go get my coffee - I ran into a navy commander, his name is Patrick dun. I learned later that he was among the causalities,” Mapp said.
15 years later.
A new chapter in life for Mapp.
Retired, he`s now living on the Eastern Shore caring for his parents.
The navy vet says he's not bitter or angry about the senseless attack.
“I don`t look back and rehash it to the point where it’s gonna cause me problems. I look back and rehash it and try to figure out what I can do with it,” Mapp explained.
Mapp says he`s not sure why he was spared but he`s grateful he was able to return home to his family.
"It could have been 10 times worse."