Today marks a reminder for the terror attacks that occurred 16 years ago. On this day in 2001, millions of Americans headed to work, school, or other obligations typical of their weekday. However, no one expected that at 8:45AM an airplane would crash into the North Tower of The World Trade Center. Within 18 minutes of the first crash, another airplane sharply turned and crashed into the South Tower.
The South Tower fell within 15 minutes, and at 10:30AM, the North Tower collapsed. This caused a giant explosion of debris, smoke, and jet fuel to cover Manhattan.
Many were left stunned, injured, and panicking in New York. First responders bravely risked their lives to save the victims who were trapped under rubble or within the buildings.
Phone use was very limited due to downed towers and wires, but the ones who were able to have the calls go through were able to say their goodbyes for one last time.
As the reality and chaos in New York unfolded, two other planes were hijacked and en route to another attack. American Airlines Flight 77 headed over Washington, D.C. and crashed into the Pentagon at 9:45 AM, while on United Flight 93 in New Jersey, passengers bravely fought the hijackers and the airplane crashed into rural Shanksville, PA at 10:10 AM rather than the intended target.
All 4 planes had been hijacked by members of the Islamic terrorist group, al-Queda. Osama bin Laden, who overlooked these attacks, was eventually captured in June 2011.
8 months after the attacks, 1.8 million tons of debris were removed from Ground Zero. Today the memorials are a reminder of where the towers once stood.
Additionally, One World Trade Center took 11 years to build, and remains one of the tallest buildings in New York to date. You can visit the observatory in the One World Trade center, as well as, see a timelapse of the incredible construction that took place during the rebuild.
September 11, 2001 will be remembered as one of our country’s darkest days in history, killing first responders, thousands of people, and causing many survivors to suffer years later from respiratory related illnesses like lung cancer and mesothelioma.
Additionally, many families have been left without closure because to this day, over 1000 victims still remain unidentified. So, take a moment of silence to remember what had happened 16 years ago. Remember to be thankful and grateful for the loved ones you currently have in your life.
Today is more than just a part of our history, it’s a day to reflect and remember every single person who lost their lives and those who helped America recover. Consider visiting the 9/11 Memorial & Museum or donating to help preserve the memories of those who lost their lives. We need to keep historical memorials like these alive for years to come. We must commemorate the thousands of people who lost their lives on that tragic day.
Attacks and tragedies like these will not break our country. Together, America will always remain strong and freedom will always ring on.