On September 11, 2022, Americans will mark the 21st anniversary of the deadliest terrorist attacks in United States history. The unprovoked act of violence was planned and realized by members of the extremist Islamic organization al-Qaeda. The the tragedy resulted in the deaths of 2,977 innocent people and changed life as we knew it forever.
What happened on September 11, 2001?
On September 11, 2001, nineteen terrorists split into four groups, each with a trained pilot, and took control of four commercial flights. They included United Flight 93 from New Jersey, US Flight 77 from Washington, DC, and United Flight 175 and US Flight 11 from Boston. The plane was headed for Los Angeles or San Francisco. This assured they had enough fuel to cause as much damage as possible.
Passengers on the planes knew they had been diverted shortly after takeoff. However, the rest of the world remained unaware of the situation until 8:46 a.m. (EST). This is when US Flight 11 was seen heading towards New York’s tallest buildings, the World Trade Center (WTC) Twin Towers. Before anyone can reactthe plane hit the north tower, creating a massive impact hole from 93rd to 99th floor.
Experts initially believed the crash was caused by the pilot Mistake or plane malfunctionning. However, this notion changed when United Flight 175 crashed into the South Tower of the WTC at 9:03 a.m. EST. About half an hour later, at 9:37 a.m. EST, US Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon in Virginia. Shortly after, United Flight 93 crashed into an empty field in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. It was obvious that the United States had suffered a series of well-orchestra Terrorist attacks.
The aftermath of the attacks
The intense fires, caused by refueling planes crashing into buildings, weakened the steel bracket farms which connected the 110 floors of the WTC Twin Towers to the building outside. This, combined with the aircraft’s initial impact hole, caused both towers to collapse. crumble in giant heaps of cement and steel in less than two hours. While the valued 18,000 survivors of the WTC complex had been made safe evacuated at that time, many first responders were not so lucky.
While the Pentagon building survived the crash, the plane initial the impact killed 184 people. The death ring would have been even higher if the brave passengers and crew of United Flight 93 – destined for the United States Capitol building in Washington, DC – had not forced the plane to crash in Pennsylvania.
What has happened since?
“Ground Zero”, as it is now called, has four new towers. The flagship is the gleaming One World Trade Center, or “Freedom Tower.” Standing at one symbolic At 541 meters (1,776 feet), it is the tallest building in New York City and the entire Western Hemisphere. Next to the Freedom Tower is a elegant memorial with two reflecting pools with the names of all 9/11 victims engraved in bronze paneled edges. The National September 11 Memorial and Museum built next door includes several artifacts of the tragic day.
The Pentagon has built 184 illuminated stainless steel benches to honor the 125 government employees and 59 crew members and passengers of US Flight 77 who died. In the county of Somerset, visitors can see exhibits commemorating the 9/11 tragedy at the Flight 93 National Memorial. They can also hear recordings of messages left for loved ones by passengers and crew before it crashed.
September 11, 2001 was one of the darkest days in US history and will never be forgotten. However, it also made Americans more resilient and determined live without fear. This September 11 – or Patriot Day – take a few minutes to honor the thousands of innocent lives lost during this difficult time.
Resources: Wikipedia.org, 9/11memorial.org, History.com