By Richard Irwin, Staff Writer
Diamond Bar is honoring it’s own 9/11 hero today at the Los Angeles County Fair. The fair committee thought it was fitting since Diamond Bar Day fell on the anniversary of this tragic event.
“We wanted to find someone who had responded to the 9/11 attack as a tribute to those who died that day,” said committee member Pamela Robinson.
The committee had a hard time locating a local person, until they talked to a resident during a Concert in the Park this summer.
“Khai Luu said he had been a platoon leader assigned to protect the Pentagon and the Capitol after the 9/11 attack,” Robinson recalled. “He agreed to help us pay tribute to our 9/11 responders.”
The Diamond Bar resident had been serving as a young lieutenant with the 274th Military Police Company in Washington, D.C.
“I was working for the District of Columbia’s National Guard,” Luu explained. “Before attending officer candidate school, I had served four years as an enlisted man.”
Unfortunately, Luu was participating in an exercise at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri when the attack occurred.
“It was an ‘aw shucks’ moment, I felt profound guilt and loss when I found out about the attack,” he remembered. “But they let us graduate early so we could help out in Washington.”
He was hoping to be one of the first to make it back, but Luu said it took a week to return to the D.C. barracks.
“I was given command of a reinforced platoon of 60 soldiers to help guard the Pentagon and Capitol buildings,” Luu said. “The Capitol Police were happy to have the help, because we didn’t know what would happen next.”
Luu was stunned to see a section of the Pentagon destroyed after being struck by an airliner. Another had targeted the Capitol, but crashed in western Pennsylvania when the passengers rushed the cockpit.
For more, read Rich Irwin’s story 9/11.