Leaving the hospital, Morehead attempted to return to the Pentagon and render whatever assistance he could. By now the building was cordoned off by police, fire and other emergency responders. Traffic in the area remained gridlocked. Ambulances and other emergency vehicles were having a hard time reaching the emergency area. “We couldn’t get back to the Pentagon; they wouldn’t let us back in.
“I walked back down to an intersection right at Army-Navy Drive. That thing was one big spider web. It was all tied up. And there was a policeman there, and he wasn’t doing anything, just leaning against his car, and so I got out there and started directing traffic. And the next thing I hear is ‘Hey, Colonel Morehead,’ and here comes Chief Heygood.” Until 3:30 that afternoon, the tired, smoky, adrenalin-fueled officers directed traffic, clearing the way for emergency vehicles to reach the Pentagon and render assistance.
While at the hospital, Morehead had tried to telephone Prissy, but he could not get through. “She knew right where my office was, and they were showing on television where the plane hit. I’m sure she thought I had been killed.” Eventually, he was able to reach his son, Chad, then a junior at Clemson. Chad, an ROTC cadet like his father before him, was able to reach his mother and let her know that Eddy was safe.
“I saw so many brave guys do some unbelievable things. No hesitation. They went in to save somebody. There’s no doubt in my mind that some of the people who died that day weren’t killed in the impact but because they went in trying to save others.”
This is a sentiment echoed by Arlington County Fire Department assistant chief James Schwartz, the on-scene commander of the emergency response team. “Truly heroic acts were exhibited on the parts of both military and civilian personnel who were residents of the Pentagon, who saved far more lives in those first few minutes, than we saved at any time in that incident. … What those people in uniform and out of uniform did on that morning were truly heroic acts that should not go unrecognized.”
In fact, Eddy Morehead’s deeds were recognized by the Army, which awarded him the Soldier’s Medal. The commendation read:
“FOR HEROISM: above and beyond the call of duty on 11 September 2001. … Colonel Morehead entered the damaged area at corridor 4 E-Ring and began rescue efforts. Initially he assisted survivors as they escaped from the wreckage and debris. However, even though encountering intense heat, thick toxic smoke, and at one point, an immense wall of flames that reached from the first floor through the roof, and with complete disregard for his own personal safety, he proceeded deeper into the area of impact along the E-Ring, pulling injured and wounded from the wreckage.”