Father of Naval Officer killed on 9/11 grateful for memorial services

Dad Remembers Sailor Son Killed at Pentagon, September 11, 2016.

For Elvin Schlegel, 15 years might as well be 15 seconds.

"I got a call from one of my sons.  I don't want you to worry but I've been trying to get a hold of Rob and I haven't been able to get through to him.  I said well why should I worry?  Why are you trying to get a hold of Rob?  He said you don't have the TV on do you," Schlegel said.

Schlegel didn't think his son, Commander Rob Schlegel would be in danger because his office wasn't in the outer ring of the Pentagon.

"I was reminded that Rob's office had been temporarily moved during renovations a few weeks prior," Schlegel said.

Rob was one of 125 people killed inside the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.  His father asked the Navy to visit the scene.

"I wanted to go down to the Pentagon and see it.  I guess I don't know, maybe because I wanted to be sure that no one was walking out of there," Schlegel said.

In the years that followed, the hole in the Pentagon was mended, but not in Schlegel's heart.  For awhile he says he filled that space with hatred and anger.

"How could I possibly forgive those people," Schlegel said.  "This anger will eat you alive and you find yourself exhibiting that anger towards people."

Schlegel says with help from his pastor, he has given up the anger and hatred, relying on the judgement from God.

At the Patriot Day Memorial Dinner in St. Petersburg today, Schlegel stood to a standing ovation as his son's name was read.  This he says helps him heal.

"It helps to know that my son wasn't forgotten.  People are still remembering Rob, remembering his sacrifice," Schlegel said.

Never forget.

(© 2016 WTSP)


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