Air Force Colonel Always Wondered If The Person He Saved During 911 Survived, He Finally Gets An Answer
Lt. Col. Brian Birdwell never got to thank the man who saved his life on that fateful morning of September 11. Col. Rob Maness never knew if the severely wounded man he’d helped that day had survived.
That day was forever engraved in their minds, and so was the question.
However, 15 years later, their paths crossed again and their That is, until last week, when their paths crossed again.
In 2001, while working for the Army, Birdwell was in an office with two colleagues watching the live footage of the Twin Towers burning. At 9:35 he stepped out to go to the bathroom, telling his co-workers he’d be right back. That was the last time he would ever speak to them.
That’s when American Airlines Flight 77 dove into the side of the building. He was instantly engulfed in flames. The Flames were so hot that parts of his Army pants melted into his skin. Laying there thinking of his wife and son, he was ready to accept the fact that this was his day to die.
That day wasn’t the end of Birdwell. He woke up minutes later as he was being carried out of the building witnessing Maness, who worked with the Air Force, holding Birdwell’s IV line in place that was leaking. They prayed together.
Today, both men are in politics. Birdwell is a state senator in Texas and Maness a candidate for the open U.S. Senate seat in Louisiana. Last week, they were both in Cleveland last week for the Republican National Convention.
While meeting other veterans that lived through that fateful day, the men quickly realized who the other was. They both described the same location, injuries, and the same broken IV line.
“We figured it out in a couple minutes of talking to each other,” Maness said. “I started crying. It was a very positive emotional release for me.”
“We had a really big hug that had the gravity and emotion of two comrades in arms,” Birdwell said. “This wasn’t just someone in the building, this was someone who the Lord had as close to me 15 years ago as he was standing next to me in the room there with Gov. Perry.”
Not a day goes by that Birdwell doesn’t feel blessed that he has been alive for his family’s major life moments, all of which were possible because of the bravery of the men involved that day.