On the morning of September 11th, Americans watched and listened, many in disbelief, to the news and radio reports that there had been attacks made on the country. The most memorable were the attacks on the twin towers of the World Trade Center. This series of attacks on the United States coordinated by Islamic terrorists would forever change the sense of security that Americans had and for those who lost loved ones in the attack, will be a day that can never be forgotten.
On the morning of September 11th 2001, a total of nineteen terrorists were involved in the hijacking of four passenger jet airliners. The intention of these hijackers was to take control of these planes and crash two of them into the World Trade Center Towers in New York, the third into the Pentagon, and it was later discovered that the target of the fourth plane was the Capitol Building in Washington D.C.
Later reports would find that the hijackers used such substances as tear gas and pepper spray as well as box cutters and Leatherman knives to keep the passengers of the hijacked planes at bay. Each of the groups of hijackers also included a trained pilot who would be able to steer the planes exactly where they wanted them to go.
Shortly after 9:00 am the first plane hit the first of the World Trade Center Towers. As almost all of America was watching the events that were unfolding with the first strike of the attack, cameras caught the events live as the second plane crashed into the side of the second World Trade Center Tower. Soon after the collisions of both planes the towers would succumb to extreme structural damage, and they collapsed sending debris and smoke everywhere.
Meanwhile the third plane crashed into the Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia. Although a large portion of the pentagon was destroyed, this building was not completely decimated as were the Twin Towers. The fourth plane that was headed to the Nation’s capital was actually re-taken by the brave passengers of flight 93. While these passengers were on-board they were able to gain information about the previous three attacks and knew that their hijacked plane was part of the terrorist’s plan of attack. The fourth plane was forced to crash into a field in Pennsylvania, making the passengers heroes for diverting the plane from its intended target and saving countless lives.
There was mass confusion as all of America watched and listened in stunned silence. All international air traffic bound for the United States was grounded in either Canada or Mexico for three days following the attacks. All other flights were immediately grounded. Hundreds of thousands of people were stranded for days as the chaos was sorted out. Air travel would never be the same after September 11th as new rules and regulations as well as alert systems were established to do everything possible to stop another attack from occurring.
United States President George W. Bush declared war on terrorism shortly following the attacks and a few years later troops were sent to the middle east in order to forcibly remove terrorist leaders from power. The war rages on today in the midst of much controversy and debate.
In total 2,974 people died as an immediate result of the attacks. Additionally the nineteen suicide attackers died and twenty four people are still missing and presumed dead. Since the day of the attack at least one person has died as a result of the smoke from the attacks. That person died of lung disease and many more suffered and still suffer from breathing complications, injuries and emotional trauma from that day.