Remembering Robert Elseth of Vestal, New York Who Died at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001
On September 11, 2001, Robert Elseth called his sister who worked in Manhattan to make sure she was okay after he heard about the attacks on the World Trade Center. It would be their last conversation. Elseth had called his sister from the Pentagon where he was working. Minutes after their conversation, he was dead.
Born on December 2, 1963 in Vestal, New York, Elseth was a graduate of Vestal High School. In 1987, Elseth graduated from Ohio State University, and following college, he served 10 years of active duty in the United States Navy.
Elseth served on the USS Claude V. Rickets, the USS Donald B. Beary, and the USS John Rodgers. Additionally, Elseth served as an instructor at the Surface Warfare Officer School in Newport, Rhode Island. While serving as an instructor, Elseth was recognized as the Junior Officer of the Year.
Along with some friends, Elseth helped to co-found Delta Resources, Inc., a defense consulting firm. Although he left active service in July of 1997, Elseth continued his service in the Naval Reserves and at the time of his death, he was serving in the Naval Command Center inside the Pentagon.
On September 11, 2001, American Airlines flight 77 took off from Dulles Airport near Washington, D.C. At 9:37 a.m. the plane hit the southwest side of the Pentagon, killing 184 people. Elseth was one of those killed. He was 37-years-old.
Elseth was quite active at his church, serving as a Sunday school teacher for first graders. He also coached girl's soccer. Elseth was survived by his wife, Annette; daughter Faith; parents, Berta and Curtis Elseth; brothers, Jim and Harlan; and sister, Nancy.
Laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery, Elseth's grave overlooks the Pentagon.