9/11 – September 11, 2001 – The Day America Came Under Attack

Sep 10th, 2016

Ground Zero

 

On September 11, 2001, four planes were hijacked by terrorists. At 8:45 a.m. an American Airlines Boeing 767 plane crashed into the World Trade Center’s north tower in New York City near the 80th floor. That plane was carrying 20,000 gallons of jet fuel and left a gaping hole in the tower. Hundreds were killed and hundreds more were trapped on the upper levels of the tower. At 9:03, eighteen minutes later, a second American Airlines Boeing 767 appeared, turned sharply, and crashed into the south tower close to the 60th floor. The second plane caused an explosion that rained burning debris on the streets below and on surrounding buildings. The entire incident was filmed by television cameras and broadcast live.

 

While the twin towers were being attacked, another American Airline plane flew into the Pentagon building further outside Washington D.C. at 9:45 a.m. that collapsed part of the building and killed the 64 people on-board the plane along with 125 military personnel at the Pentagon.

 

Approximately 40 minutes later in Pennsylvania, a United Airlines plane crashed to the ground. That plane had 45 passengers that were killed. An investigation showed that the plane had been late taking off from the Newark International Airport. As a result, passengers learned of the attacks on the twin towers and the Pentagon. They made a plan to fight back, knowing that the intention of the hijackers was a suicide mission. As the passengers fought with the hijackers, the plane flipped and ultimately crashed into a field killing everyone on board. The target of that plane is unknown, but authorities have speculated that it could have been the White House, Camp David or even nuclear power plants.

 

Only six survived when the World Trade Center collapsed. Over 3,000 were killed and 10,000 others in the vicinity sustained injuries. The attack caused death and destruction on American soil.

 

The attackers were suicidal terrorists connected to the al-Qaeda terrorist organization. It has been alleged that the attacks were in retaliation American’s involvement in the Middle East including the Persian Gulf War and its support of Israel.

 

George W. Bush was President of the United States at the time. He delivered a televised speech at 9:00 p.m. from the Oval Office.

 

The known mastermind behind the attacks, Osama Bin Laden, continued his leadership of the Taliban and the al-Quaeda terrorists responsible for attacking America on its own soil until 2011. On May 2nd, ten years later, he was finally tracked down and killed. His death did not stop al-Quaeda, and they are still active and work with other terrorist groups including ISIS.

 

The U.S. Flag at Ground Zero

 

Amidst the chaos, three firefighters removed a United States flag from a yacht and raised it in the burning ashes of the World Trade Center. That general location is called Ground Zero. A photographer took a picture of the flag being raised that became famous as a symbol of hope.

 

Firefighter Flag

 

Within hours, the flag disappeared. After 15 years, the flag has resurfaced. According to CNN, it has been authenticated by a forensic scientist at the Washington State Patrol laboratory. The flag will be on display at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum.

 

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