On 9/11, Couple Used Handwritten Note To Find Each Other In Chaos At The Pentagon

by Kate Taylor
Kate is a writer who laughs at her own jokes and likes to pour too much hot sauce on her food.

These days, when disaster strikes our first instinct is to get in touch with our loved ones with the help of our cell phones and other digital channels.

However, technology is notoriously fickle in times of need. Moreover, cell phones have not always been around or sophisticated enough to depend on.

For instance, Irma victims in the Caribbean have taken to writing on pizza boxes to communicate with the outside world.

Something similar happened on September 11, 2001, when a couple working in the Pentagon realized their workplace had become the site of a terrorist attack.

When Daria Gaillard, affectionally known as Chip, grasped the seriousness of the situation, she took to pen and paper to get in touch with her husband and let him know what was going on.

The note, which is now more of an artifact, has since been saved by the Smithsonian as a memory of that fateful day.

[H/T: Smithsonian]

The note reads:

Frank —
Sweetie I am okay. I’m w/ my office over by the Lyndon B. Johnson memorial sign. I’ll stay there till you come.
Love lots + lots,

The note is very simple, but speaks volumes about the desperation of the situation after the Pentagon and the twin towers were attacked.

Chip and Frank, both Air Force members, worked inside the Pentagon in different sections.

Being aware of the importance of their building, they already had an agreement that they would meet in the parking lot in case of emergency.

The plane crashed into the western side of the Pentagon at 9:37 a.m., almost an hour after the twin towers were hit, according to History.com.

No one could be sure what would happen next. Especially because cell phones and the networks they depended on were compromised at the time of the attacks.

When the Pentagon was hit, a mass evacuation of high-profile buildings in Washington, DC, went underway.

Tragically, the passengers inside the hijacked plane and 125 Pentagon employees died in the attack.

Luckily, Chip and Frank lived to tell the tale — as did their note, which is now part of the Smithsonian’s 9/11 collection.


Thanks to the note, Chip and Frank were able to find each other. According to the Smithsonian, they helped evacuate children from the Pentagon’s childcare center to safety.

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