Retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Brian Birdwell, now a state senator in Texas, this weekend is remembering back 21 years to the day of the 9/11 terror attacks, when he was the sole survivor in the E-Ring of the Pentagon when it was struck by one of the terrorist-controlled jets, and said on Newsmax Saturday it's a miracle he's still alive.
"There are times it seems like yesterday and there are times it seems like a lifetime ago," the Texas Republican, who suffered burns over 60% of his body in the attack, said on Newsmax's "Saturday Report." "It's a miracle for me to be alive. You don't survive an 80-ton jet come into the building at 530 miles an hour with still 3,000 gallons of jet fuel ... the Army made me a tough guy."
He said he does think most about who was lost that day, including "two coworkers, Cheryl and Sandy," adding that "we face an enemy that doesn't concern itself with ... a fair fight, whether it's women, children or anybody else that's being injured."
Birdwell also said he thinks about those who were lost over the next 20 years in wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere, but still, he believes it is a blessing to live in the United States.
"The Lord gave me the rest of my life, and with our maladies, there's still no better place on God's green Earth than the United States of America and, if I may be so bold, Texas," said Birdwell.
He added that he's gotten to see things over the past 21 years he never thought he would see, including his son graduating from Texas Tech and getting married and grandchildren coming along, and that he would get to serve the people of his Senate district 22 in Texas.
"There's a lot of life left to be lived," said Birdwell.
He added that he also depends on his faith in God, even while suffering from the horrific burns across his body after the attacks.
"I pleaded for the Lord to finish what the terrorists had started, but the Lord had other plans; and my fabulous wife, Mel, was beside me," said Birdwell. "Sometimes she'll say she nagged me through it, but she certainly dragged me through it because there were times I wanted to give up. You know, the Army doesn't train us to do that, but that's how I felt. But we would eventually find our inspiration in scripture."
Birdwell added that Jesus Christ "went through a lot tougher an ordeal," so he's found his strength in him.
"I stepped out of the men's restroom and only had a couple of minutes to think about my death," he said of the events of Sept. 11, 2001. "He stepped out of the perfection of eternity and knew he was going to die long before we ever arrived, so that's the strength that carries us through and still does to this day."
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