2019 marks 18th anniversary of Brian Moss’ 9/11 death
The name and rank of Cherokee Nation citizen and Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Brian Anthony Moss is inscribed on a cantilevered bench with a lighted pool of water under it at the Pentagon Memorial. At 9:37 a.m. on Sept. 11, 2001, American Airlines Flight 77 flown by terrorists rammed the Pentagon, killing 184 people in all. Moss was one of the 125 people killed inside the Pentagon. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Brian Anthony Moss
Brian Anthony Moss
SPERRY – This year marks the 18th year since American Airlines Flight 77 rammed the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, killing 125 people inside it, including Cherokee Nation citizen and former Sperry resident Brian Anthony Moss.
According to Pentagonmemorial.org, the 34-year-old Navy electronics technician 2nd Class called his mother, Pat Moss, the night before to tell her of his new job. After months of waiting, he was finally selected to work for the Chief of Naval Operations at the Pentagon on the building’s west side, which was reduced to rubble on Sept. 11.
The airplane that hit the Pentagon was one of four planes hijacked and crashed by al-Qaeda terrorists. Two planes hit the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, and another one crashed in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, after passengers and flight crew tried to retake control.
Though years have passed, Pat Moss spoke to the Tulsa World of the violence of that day.
“Sometimes, it still doesn’t seem real,” she said. “You have to go and try to fill it up, but you never can. Never.”
Brian Moss was a Sperry graduate, a husband to his wife, Mary Lou, and father to his children, Ashten and Connor. He was also one nearly 3,000 people killed in the terrorist attacks.
“He was everybody’s big brother,” Pat Moss said. “Brian loved to read, he loved to be involved. He loved to volunteer. He was my son, but he was also my best friend.”
According to Pentagonmemorial.net, Brian Moss was also one driven and devoted. He enlisted in the Navy in 1990 and later was stationed in Adak, Alaska, where he met his future wife.
“I have integrity and make sure I live by Navy core values. You can’t talk the talk if you don’t walk the walk,” he told Sea Services Weekly in February 2001. “You can’t be successful at something you are forced to do.”
During his last three years, he had been stationed at the U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard, primarily training younger guardsmen to represent the Navy. He performed in countless ceremonies, including the 54th Presidential Inauguration and laying fellow shipmates from the U.S.S. Cole to rest at Arlington National Cemetery before being transferred to the Pentagon.
In January 2001, he was selected to represent Naval District Washington as Sailor of the Year for 2000 – an honor almost unheard of for a 2nd Class Petty Officer.
His wife, Mary Lou, told Pentagonmemorial.org that if his death was inevitable, she was glad it happened where it did.
“Nobody other than military knows the tightness of the military community,” she said. “I’ve had more support than anyone could imagine…. This whole community grieves. “If he had to die, this is the way he would have wanted to go, serving his country.”
According to projects.washingtonpost.com, she said her husband lived to spend money.
“If he wasn’t on eBay at night, he would be looking for garage sales on the weekends,” she said. “Our running joke is that that he was probably on eBay when the Pentagon was hit. His motto was ‘one man’s trash is another man’s treasure,’ and I've got a horrendous amount of antiques at my house that attest to this philosophy.”