Lt. Colonel Darling talks terrorism threats at UI

BY DI STAFF | FEBRUARY 06, 2013 5:00 AM

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History came alive for those crammed into the Senate Chamber of the Old Capitol Tuesday, as Lt. Col. Robert Darling spoke about his experience in the bunker of the White House as 9/11 unfolded.

He experienced the importance of knowing how to be a leader in a crisis.

“When it comes to a crisis, there is no time, there are no resources,” Darling told the audience. “It’s just you and the experience you have to go and make the best decisions you can with the best information you have … Don’t be the guy or girl who decides to do nothing.”

Darling said action is key and sees the responsibility for that action in the hands of the young leaders.

Darling acted as the liaison between the Vice President, National Security Advisor, and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, and also worked with the National Command Authority in responding to the terrorist attacks, according to a press release. He spoke to a group of people at the Old Capitol Tuesday at an event sponsored by numerous University of Iowa groups including the UI Air Force, Army, and National Guard ROTC, as well as University Veterans and the Public Policy Center.

“We must finish this job — our freedom will always be worth the price,” he said. “To ROTC members and the other students at the University of Iowa, as the future leaders of our great military and our great nation, you will soon take the baton from us and continue our struggle against radical Islam in the defense of freedom.”

UI senior Erin Walsh is inspired to fill those shoes.

“Overall, I’m just very proud to be where I’m at — about to be serving on active duty in the Air Force,” she said. “Hopefully, I have a chance to give back the way he did and everyone else did on that day.”

— by Brianna Jett

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