Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Dewitt D. Roseborough III

Beyond a carefully firewalled presence in Army Reserve Magazine published on October 1, 2001, it took three more years for the single image attributed to Naval Photographer's Mate 1rst Class Dewitt Roseborough recording the devastation and terror at the Pentagon on September 11th, 2001, to enter the public record. It did so in an October 2004 article in Airforce Magazine Online, The 9/11 Commission Report clears up some misperceptions about that awful day. Sept. 11, Minute by Minute, which acknowledges "major misperceptions and inaccuracies in the public record." It also proves that three branches of the services know how to share.

But the seeding of Roseborough's name onto the list of individuals who were present and took images at the Pentagon on September 11th, was an example itself of the inconsistency and anomaly of the record.

Roseborough was an eyewitness to the attack, an experience he gave in an interview at the one-year mark to an enlisted sailor's magazine, the September 2002 issue of All Hands (FindArticles)

In the article by Craig Strawser, "Forever Changed," six navy personnel relay their personal experiences of 9/11, although one story, about a sailor deployed on a submarine, was more about the experience of missing the experience. The other four, whether on duty or off that day, shared a televised event with the rest of America more than with Roseborough.

In this strangely minimized context it is no wonder that Roseborough's eyewitness is so little known. It bears reprinting in full:
Shutter Shock PH1(AW) Dewitt Roseborough, Photographer's Mate 1st Class (AW)

Dewitt Roseborough was serving as the Chief of Naval Operations' photographer on the morning of Sept. 11, a day he will never forget."That morning, I was covering a reenlistment in the SECNAV mess at the Pentagon. It was supposed to start at 9 a.m., but the reenlisting officer was late getting down there' he said. "That's because he was watching CNN and saw that a plane had hit the World Trade Center.

"Those who were waiting for the reenlistment didn't know anything about it at the time. They were all just sitting there wondering what could be keeping the officer. Before he could make it out of the office, the second plane hit. "He finally got down there about 9:20 a.m., and told us what happened," Roseborough said. "Although there were a lot of people in shock, we proceeded with the reenlistment?'

It was as he was leaving the Pentagon that the world Roseborough knew changed forever. "I got out into the parking lot, just walking along, and all of a sudden, I hear what I would describe as a 'lion's roar' above my head," Roseborough said.

"It caught my attention, and as I looked up, I heard another roar and I saw this airplane flying low. I thought, 'Oh, my God, this thing is really low.' "I thought it was going to crash onto the highway," recalled Roseborough.

"Just as I thought that, I saw a fireball come from over the Pentagon. I was just standing there dumbfounded, thinking, 'What just happened?'"

As debris floated and flew his way, he realized he needed to take cover. "I ducked under a walkway for what seemed to be a long time, but actually was only about a minute," Roseborough said. "That's when I noticed this woman screaming out in the parking lot. It broke my 'shock state.'" He ran to her and helped calm her down.

"After a while, I said to myself, 'Hey, I've got my camera, I'd better go do some shooting.'" He walked to the grassy area where the Navy Annex is and stood on that hill and started shooting photos documenting the immediate aftermath of the terror attack on our nation's defense headquarters.

"I've asked myself several times over, why, as a photographer, I didn't immediately turn around and start shooting photos when the plane hit? I guess my major concern at the time was with the people that were out there. That's one thing about being in the Navy for the last 20 years, seeing disasters and death; I've been prepared to react in the manner that I did," he said. "I just started making sure everyone was OK."

"The next day, I didn't go to work," he said. "I was still trying to process everything that had happened. I had just witnessed the worst disaster I'd ever seen, up close and personal. I was just trying to piece everything together for a while. It was just an unbelievable thing."

Roseborough summed up his feelings about Sept. 11, by saying that it was just a strange day. "It was like you were watching a movie, but you were the actor; you were in the movie. It was the most incredible thing I've ever witnessed" he said.
Given his tone of veracity and humility, Roseborough's testimony speaks believably to (at minimum) a dual energetic event, and by disconnecting the low-flying aircraft(s) from the explosive fireball which rose over the Pentagon facade, it may also speak to a fly-over theory. However did CIT miss him?

Perhaps it is in his revelatory quality of "knowing/not knowing" (not in the Rumsfeld sense, from Wang Chen's Tao of War, but in the sense of trauma programming,) that by telling his "truth," and being heard, Roseborough becomes truly dangerous.

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