| September 11, 2001 was
April Gallop's first day back at work from maternity leave. Elisha
was sitting in his stroller at his mother's desk when the airplane slammed
into the Pentagon. On that fateful day April had been ordered to get a
document from her computer for her commanding officer before taking Elisha
to the Pentagon Child Care Center.
just turned on her computer when the plane hit. She was accustomed to unannounced
security drills, but this was different; very different. The noise was
like nothing she'd ever heard. It was deafening; it was so loud that it
stopped her in her tracks. Then, in the next moment she found herself and
Elisha being blown across the room by the concussive force of the explosion.
As she flew through
the air she caught a glimpse of the horrendous fire ball that consumed
unlucky co-workers. Then the lights went out and April loss consciousness.
Sometime later she woke up to the sound of Elisha's cries. In spite of
the darkness, smoke and the mounds of burning debris she was able to locate
Elisha. Drawing on super human strength borne of such crises petite April
pulled Elisha out of the rubble and carried him to safety.
Ignoring her own
injuries she helped other wounded to safety for which she has been duly
nominated for a soldier's medal. Once she reached safety she fainted and
Elisha tumbled into the arms of a bystander, a stranger, who commandeered
a passing vehicle and escorted them to George Washington Medical Center.
In the chaos and
confusion of the days following 9/11 she was mistakenly reported dead on
arrival (DOA), and Absent Without Official Leave (AWOL). While the record
identifying her as DOA has been corrected, the record that lists her as
AWOL has yet to be corrected in the 3 years since 9/11.
That erroneous record continues
to interfered with her ability to receive the Soldier's Medal for which
she has been duly nominated for heroism in the face of extreme danger.
While others were running away to save themselves, she took time to pull
others from the rubble.
that the medal is hung up in some bureaucratic snafu. This snafu has also
interfered with her ability to receive relief funds from the military and
private charities. It seems clear that this situation is a microcosm of
the larger problem that created the conditions that allowed the terrorists
to succeed in the 911 attack.
That is, somebody
in the chain of command makes a mistake and fails to correct the record,
and people up the line fail to check out the facts and they close ranks
around the mistake. From that point the initial mistake takes on a life
of its own and leads to continually unfolding series of tragedies.
single mom lives from eviction notice to eviction notice. Her child was
deemed to be in need of early intervention, but 3 years later this innocent
child has not received the care that he needs and deserves. Cannon Fodder
- They sacrifice, and we turn a blind eye. I hope it hasn't come to that.
Her experience as a 9/11 Pentagon survivor is chilling, and as a survey
published in the 9/7/04 NY Times shows, is by no means an isolated case.
Despite her considerable
difficulties April continues to reach out to others the Elisha Zion Peace
Foundation promotes the needs of those who have fallen through the gaps
in the safety net of the 9/11 relief agencies. 9-11 EZP Foundation has
taken a proactive, leadership role before congress, institutions and policy
makers regarding disaster preparedness and disaster relief. 9-11 EZP Foundation
has spent hundreds of hours working on behalf of survivors and families.
Through our programs, the EZ Peace Foundation ensures that those
who have suffered disabling injuries due to the 9/11 attacks will not be
A medical board
found April Gallop unfit to return to her duties as a soldier. Consequently
she was forced to give up her career and her dream of attending officer's
training school. Her partial disability rating has resulted in a drastic
reduction in her income. Her military pay was her family's main source
of income. She was the breadwinner. When this single mother survived the
horrors of the attack on the Pentagon, she had no idea that she would spend
the ensuing years fighting for her life in a bureaucratic morass.