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Nearing 20th anniversary of 9/11 attacks Van Susteren remembers Pentagon attack

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van susteren, greta

UNDATED (KTIV) - KTIV Chief National Political Analyst Greta Van Susteren looks back on the September 11th terrorist attacks, and the impact of the U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan just days before the 20th anniversary of 9/11.

"Greta, besides being the 20th anniversary of 9/11, it’s also the very first since the US withdrawal from Afghanistan," said Matt Breen. "How do you think that will impact the remembrance?"

"Well, I think it’s been terribly tragic for so many Americans especially those who serve in uniform, or for those who have family members, who did because I anticipate that the Taliban in Afghanistan is going to see this is some sort of victory day for them because the Americans have now gone home," said Greta Van Susteren, KTIV Chief National Political Analyst. "Well, most of them. Most, and we still have left some Americans behind. But, the American military is gone, so I think it’s going to be a very sad day. But, it is every year every year, not just the 20th, but every year we remember the attacks. They were unthinkable. We have enjoyed so many freedoms in this country. Then, one day, 20 years ago we woke up and we were under attack like nothing we've ever seen. Maybe those, who were around for Pearl Harbor, but surely nothing like this for the rest of us in the two decades since those attacks."

"Do you think we're safer here at home?" asked Breen.

"I don't know," Van Susteren said. "It doesn't take a lot to hurt anybody. It doesn't take a lot to cause a lot of trouble. Take a look at that suicide bomber, who killed about 150 or 200 people at the airport in Kabul a couple weeks ago. It doesn't take a lot. That's what one or two people did. So, yes I suppose we're safer on airplanes. We know that. But, we've also had to give up a lot of rights, a lot of freedoms. We now all go through the airports a lot differently than we did before 9/11. I hope we're safer, but you know we also have a lot of crime on the streets. It may not be terrorism, but the streets are unsafe for a lot of people across America. It's easy to see the shootings in the larger cities. So, are we safe? I think we're more vigilant, and we've given up a few rights in exchange to have a little more safety."

"Speaking of 9/11, what's one memory you have from 9/11 that's still vivid today?"

"I was three blocks from the Pentagon," Van Susteren said. "I heard the plane. I looked up straight up in the air where you look for planes, and there was no plane because it had already dropped down about to the level of the roof the Pentagon. I then heard the worst explosion I have ever heard in my life, and saw a black plume of smoke that went straight up in the air. I looked at it with my husband, and I said 'wow, look at that'." We thought were being bombed. We knew about the World Trade Center. We'd heard about that. Then you look inside the hole in the Pentagon. It was just black. But, it looked like there was glitter. That was the tiny little particles from the skin of the airplane that had been thrust up with explosion. And, the sun was catching it. So, we had this very dark black plume of smoke thrown I don't know how many hundreds of feet in the air. And, it had sparkles in it, like glitter. After that I rushed right to CNN, where I was working at the time. It's just so hard to believe even 20 years later."

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Matt Breen

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