Remembering 9/11

President George Bush on the telephone as the second plane hit the Twin Towers in New York (George W Bush Llibrary)

Can you believe that 17 years have passed since this attack occurred on US soil on 9/11/ 2001 by a terrorist organization, Al-Qaeda? As per Wikipedia, 19 men were affiliated with al-Qaeda; 15 of the 19 were citizens of Saudi Arabia, and the others were from the United Arab Emirates (2), Egypt, and Lebanon.

Almost everyone who was of age when this happened, can remember where we were. I recall my daughter grabbing me, saying you have to see this? I saw the second airplane, and in that second, I knew that we were under attack.

september 11 attack
NYC TWIN TOWERS Images/Robert Giroux

It’s also a time that Americans came together to mourn this tragedy. Our US leaders like the republican President George W. Bush and the NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani were at their best in helping all of us to recover from this nightmare. The acts of heroism are legendary of how Americans came forward, risking and losing their lives to help their fellow citizens.

President  Bush stepped up to the plate to warn Americans not to blame US Muslims in the USA for the behavior of a few extremists.

Today, on the 11th of September 2018, there will be ceremonies being held around the USA in remembrance of 9/11. Many of us will be having our quiet moments recalling those times and what happened afterwards.

Man covered with ashes assisting a woman walking and holding a particle mask to her face, following the attack (Don Halasy)

A review of what happened…

Source: 8/27/18 updated publication by History.com:

“On September 11, 2001, 19 militants associated with the Islamic extremist group al-Qaeda hijacked four airplanes and carried out suicide attacks against targets in the United States. Two of the planes were flown into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, a third plane hit the Pentagon just outside Washington, D.C., and the fourth plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania. Almost 3,000 people were killed during the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which triggered major U.S. initiatives to combat terrorism and defined the presidency of George W. Bush.”

The smoke from the wreckage of the Twin Towers as viewed from space (Nasa)

World Trade Center

On September 11, 2001, at 8:45 a.m. on a clear Tuesday morning, an American Airlines Boeing 767 loaded with 20,000 gallons of jet fuel crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center in New York City.

The impact left a gaping, burning hole near the 80th floor of the 110-story skyscraper, instantly killing hundreds of people and trapping hundreds more in higher floors.

As the evacuation of the tower and its twin got underway, television cameras broadcasted live images of what initially appeared to be a freak accident. Then, 18 minutes after the first plane hit, a second Boeing 767—United Airlines Flight 175—appeared out of the sky, turned sharply toward the World Trade Center and sliced into the south tower near the 60th floor.

The collision caused a massive explosion that showered burning debris over surrounding buildings and onto the streets below. It immediately became clear that America was under attack.

Strong men were reduced to tears.
Mario Tama/Getty Images

Did you know? September 11, 2001, was the deadliest day in history for New York City firefighters: 343 were killed. (69 emergency helpers were killed.)

Osama bin Laden

“The attackers were Islamic terrorists from Saudi Arabia and several other Arab nations. Reportedly financed by the al-Qaeda terrorist organization of Saudi fugitive Osama bin Laden, they were allegedly acting in retaliation for America’s support of Israel, its involvement in the Persian Gulf War and its continued military presence in the Middle East.”

“Some of the terrorists had lived in the United States for more than a year and had taken flying lessons at American commercial flight schools. Others had slipped into the country in the months before September 11 and acted as the “muscle” in the operation.”

“The 19 terrorists easily smuggled box-cutters and knives through security at three East Coast airports and boarded four early-morning flights bound for California, chosen because the planes were loaded with fuel for the long transcontinental journey. Soon after takeoff, the terrorists commandeered the four planes and took the controls, transforming ordinary passenger jets into guided missiles.”

The attacks weren't limited to New York. The Pentagon also took a hit — 125 people were killed.

Pentagon Attack

“As millions watched the events unfolding in New York, American Airlines Flight 77 circled over downtown Washington, D.C., before crashing into the west side of the  Pentagon  military headquarters at 9:45 a.m.”

“Jet fuel from the Boeing 757 caused a devastating inferno that led to the structural collapse of a portion of the giant concrete building, which is the headquarters of the U.S. Department of Defense.”

“All told, 125 military personnel and civilians were killed in the Pentagon, along with all 64 people aboard the airliner.”

The towers were so badly damaged structurally that collapse was inevitable. At the time, however, no one expected this. People on the streets around the World Trade Center fled in terror when the buildings went down, one after the other, and filled the streets with rubble and dust.
AP Photo/Suzanne Plunket

Twin Towers Collapse

“Less than 15 minutes after the terrorists struck the nerve center of the U.S. military, the horror in New York took a catastrophic turn when the south tower of the World Trade Center collapsed in a massive cloud of dust and smoke.”

“The structural steel of the skyscraper, built to withstand winds in excess of 200 miles per hour and a large conventional fire, could not withstand the tremendous heat generated by the burning jet fuel.”

“At 10:30 a.m., the north building of the twin towers collapsed. Only six people in the World Trade Center towers at the time of their collapse survived. Almost 10,000 others were treated for injuries, many severe.”
The impact of the two jets was devastating, smashing through the steel structure of the towers and igniting fires that eventually brought the buildings down. Warplanes took to the skies. Every nonmilitary flight in US airspace was ordered to land.
REUTERS/Sara K. Schwittek

Flight 93

“Meanwhile, a fourth California-bound plane—United Flight 93—was hijacked about 40 minutes after leaving Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey. Because the plane had been delayed in taking off, passengers on board learned of events in NY and Washington via cell phone and Airfone calls to the ground.”

“Knowing that the aircraft was not returning to an airport as the hijackers claimed, a group of passengers and flight attendants planned an insurrection.”

“One of the passengers, Thomas Burnett, Jr., told his wife over the phone that “I know we’re all going to die. There’s 3 of us who are going to do something about it. I love you, honey.” Another passenger—Todd Beamer—was heard saying “Are you guys ready? Let’s roll” over an open line.”

“Sandy Bradshaw, a flight attendant, called her husband and explained that she had slipped into a galley and was filling pitchers with boiling water. Her last words to him were “Everyone’s running to first class. I’ve got to go. Bye.”

“The passengers fought the 4 hijackers and are suspected to have attacked the cockpit with a fire extinguisher. The plane then flipped over and sped toward the ground at upwards of 500 miles per hour, crashing in a rural field near Shanksville in western Pennsylvania at 10:10 a.m.”

“All 44 people aboard were killed. Its intended target is not known, but theories include the White House, the U.S. Capitol, the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland.”

But the annual
REUTERS

How Many People Died in 9/11 Attacks?

“A total of 2,996 people were killed in the 9/11 attacks, including the 19 terrorist hijackers aboard the four airplanes.”

“At the World Trade Center, 2,763 died after the two planes slammed into the twin towers. That figure includes 343 firefighters and paramedics, 23 New York City police officers and 37 Port Authority police officers who were struggling to complete an evacuation of the buildings and save the office workers trapped on higher floors.”

“At the Pentagon, 189 people were killed, including 64 on American Airlines Flight 77, the airliner that struck the building. On Flight 93, 44 people died when the plane crash-landed in Pennsylvania.”

Link to report/ videos: 9/11 Attacks – Facts & Summary – HISTORY.com

6 comments

  1. 2.30- 3.00pm UK time and the messages started filtering through work colleagues being told by family and friends they had heard on the news….
    3.30pm an office phone goes.
    Someone says ‘Rog’. It’s for you.
    I think. ‘That’s Clare (my younger daughter)’
    The voice- it’s Clare phoning from her workplace in Leeds in North England ‘Dad have you heard the news about New York?’
    I left work at 4.30pm. The streets were empty. ‘9/11’ was the only thing happening that day…..
    A time of great tragedy, heroism and some nobility.
    The words of one IRA man applied chillingly.
    “You have to be lucky all the time. We only have to be lucky once.”
    Equally the mindset of many in The West on the eve of the Japanese attacks of 1941. Complacency paid for in lives. (That and a lot of in-fighting amongst agencies who should be working together)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Roger,

      What a way to find out. What a shock. For me, it took a while for it to sink in, that we were under attack.

      It doesn’t help that the 9/11 commission showed that this tragedy was preventable.

      The Intelligence agencies have become much more diligent about sharing and picking up information to prevent future attacks. It’s the home grown variety that’s the biggest problem.

      We made a lot of mistakes after 9/11 which just goes to show why it doesn’t pay to react in a time of grief, anger and mourning.

      Will we ever learn?

      Now the newest very effective weapon is cyber warfare and we have the wrong president to lead us in a direction to adequately address this issue.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Liked by 1 person

      • Low technology will always find a way. As I recall there were at least eight agencies who had some sort responsibility for security and safety, and all arguing with each other.
        I don’t know if we will ever learn.
        There is an adage in some military circles that we are always prepared for the last conflict.
        Cyber warfare was bound to happen. It has its roots in the propaganda and mis-information wars of…..well….as long as warfare has been going on.
        Not that the incumbent has any idea of what he is supposed to be dealing with.

        Liked by 1 person

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