Thursday, September 11, 2014



New York City (JFK+50) Thirteen years ago, at 8:46 a.m. Tuesday, September 11, 2001, American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center* in New York City.

Seventeen minutes later, at 9:03 a.m.United Airlines Flight 175 hit the South Tower.

Statue of Liberty and
World Trade Center Fire
September 11, 2001
National Park Service Photo

At 9:37 a.m.American Airlines Flight 77 struck the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. followed at 10:03 a.m. by a fourth passenger airliner, United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed into a field near Shanksville in Western Pennsylvania.

The four airliners had been hijacked by Islamic terrorists who smuggled box cutters on board the planes and disabled the crews.

American Flight 11 left Boston with a crew of 11, 76 passengers and 5 hijackers.

United Airlines Flight 175 left Boston with a crew of 9, 51 passengers and 5 hijackers.

American Airlines Flight 77 left Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C. with a crew of 6, 53 passengers and 5 hijackers.

United Airlines Flight 93 left Newark with a crew of 7, 33 passengers and 4 hijackers.

The Federal Aviation Administration was notified at 8:32 a.m. of the hijacking of American Flight 11.  They reported this information to NORAD which scrambled 2 F15s from Otis AFB at 8:53 a.m.  Additional fighters were dispatched from Langley AFB in Virginia at 9:30 a.m.

Later, a 9-11 Commission issued a report saying the attacks were carried out by members of the Muslim fundamentalist terrorist organization Al-Qaeda and that there were failures on the part of the United States in "imagination, policy, capabilities and management."  

At 9:59, the South Tower of the World Trade Center collapsed and 29 minutes later, at 10:28, the North Tower also collapsed.

President George W. Bush, visiting an elementary school in Florida, was informed of the attacks and soon was back aboard Air Force One.

The President speaking at 9:00  p.m. from the White House said...

"Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundations of America.  These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve."

President George W. Bush
September 20, 2001
Photo by Eric Draper

2977 people were killed as a result of the terrorist attacks of 9-11-01 in addition to the 19 hijackers.  90% of the casualties at the WTC included those people who were at or above the point of impact of the Twin Towers.

Many brave New York first responders who went into the towers perished.

UA Flight 175 Crashes Into WTC
September 11, 2001
Photo by upstateNYer

On September 14, 2001, the President was authorized by Congress to use "all necessary and appropriate force" against those who "planned, authorized, committed or aided" the 9-11 attacks.

At 10:14 a.m. Eastern Time, during NBC-TV coverage of the event, Tom Brokaw described 9-11-2001 as "the most serious attack on the United States in more than a hundred years."  Brokaw went on to say that no horrific event in our history could match this one.

The 1776 foot tall One World Trade Center** was completed in 2013.

*World Trade Center (1973-2001) was a complex of buildings in Manhattan, NYC which included the Twin Towers and five other structures.  The Towers were designed by Minoru Yamasaki, the lead architect. 

On a typical workday, 50,000 people worked in the WTC and there would be 200,000 visitors.  When the WTC opened on April 3, 1973, the TTs were the tallest buildings in the world.

**One World Trade Center was opened in 2014 on the site of the original 6WTC building.  At 104 stories, it is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere and the 4th tallest in the world.

One World Trade Center
New York City
September 21, 2012
Photo by Benjamin Kraft

This morning, September 11, 2014, at the moment the attacks began 13 years ago, President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden walked out on the South Lawn of the White House to participate in a Moment of Silence ceremony.