Before Jimmy Orr was the Mayor of Cheyenne's husband, he was the Digital Director for the White House. 17 years ago today, he had a front-row seat for the worst terrorist attack in American history. Orr recently recounted that dark day in a blog.

"Rushing back to my boss’ office to let him know, the sirens went off. Moments later, the Secret Service began banging on every office door and yelling for us to evacuate," Orr wrote.

Orr's job that day was to get the White House website back online and disseminate information as it became available. He lived close to Pentagon and returned home that night to a smoke-filled apartment.

The former White House spokesman also witnessed the tragic aftermath of the event.

"It was impossible not to cry when family members of those lost in Flight 93 came to the White House for a memorial service two weeks later," Orr said. "As all the White House staffers lined up to shake their hands and express our condolences, I still remember that little boy in his little suit who jumped up to me to get a hug."

Nearly two decades later, the image is indelibly stamped in Orr's mind.

"These memories have not faded. As painful as they are, it’s important that they don’t."