Texas State Senator Who Survived 9/11 Recalls The Day

Andrew Greenstein
September 11, 2019 - 2:57 pm
Texas Senator Brian Birdwell

Credit: Andrew Greenstein, 1080 KRLD

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ARLINGTON (1080 KRLD) - Heroic tales from a survivor of the 9/11 attacks 18 years ago today.

A ceremony commemorating the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks was held at Texas Live! Wednesday afternoon.

The keynote speaker was State Senator Brian Birdwell, who was seriously injured in the Pentagon that awful day. Birdwell was in his second floor office when American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the building just yards from him.

“In those first moments of impact and being tossed around like a rag doll and set ablaze, I went from a well lit hallway and fully in charge of my faculties and surroundings to an earthly hell of fire choking black smoke and the pain and the disorientation that comes with it,” Sen. Birdwell told the crowd.

Birdwell was very badly injured.

“I was burned on 60% my body with about 40% being third degree burns,” says Birdwell. “My arms from fingertip to armpit are completely grafted circumferentially around both arms. My eye sockets have been rebuilt. My neck, my ears are artificial cartilage of bone skin grafted over it.”

Birdwell had to undergo 39 operations and countless skin grafts.

“It's been a hard road at many times,” Birdwell says. “My medical care and reconstruction took four years. I’d eventually be able to buy property down in Hood County, return back to the Holy Land. And the Lord would put elective office in my heart.”

Birdwell has represented Senate District 22 since 2010.

He says a higher power kept him alive.

“You don't survive that because the Army made me the toughest guy in that building that day,” Birdwell says. “The toughest man ever walked this earth 2000 years ago still sits at the right hand of the Father, and it's still interdicting in our lives. And the Lord is the reason I'm here with you today.”

Birdwell says today is a day when we honor more than the nearly 3000 people killed that day:

“It's the people that not just died September 11th that we're honoring today,” says Birdwell. “It's those that on the morning of September 12th that went to that recruiting station, raised their right hand and said, ‘I'll support defend the constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.’”