NOTICE TO VISITORS: Be forewarned, there are graphic scenes of death, injury and destruction on this, the opening, page of this web site. This is the awful brutality of what was forced upon our nation on September 11, 2001. In order to stamp out this horror, in order to avoid more in the future, we must never forget, we must remain forever vigilant. Gauge your visit accordingly. This page is very SLOW to load...be patient.
ATTACK ON THE WORLD TRADE CENTER, NEW YORK - 8:45 AM|
At approximately 8:45 AM on Tuesday, September 11, 2001, a horrendous, dastardly and despicable attack on the United States of America was conducted by extremist Islamic groups, supported by rogue Islamic governments. The attack(s) were conducted against innocent American citizens, against the financial infrastructure of America and against America's military infrastructure.
At that hour and minute, hijacked American Airlines Flight Number 11, which had been hijacked by Islamic fundamentalists who commandeered and flew the plane, crashed into one of the towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, New York. On any given day, approximately 50,000 people work in the World Trade Center complex. The crash was captured on video tape, as were subsequent attacks.
The crash exploded in a tremendous fireball, that gutted that area of the tower about twenty floors below the top. At 8:45 AM, the offices would have been almost completely full as workers were beginning their day. The upper portion of the structure caught on fire as debris rained to the streets below. People in the lower floors, and people in the 2nd tower began to evacuate. At this point, it was still unclear as to whether this was a horrible accident, or an unprincipled attack. The answer would come in a horrific manner eighteen minutes later.
As the eyes of the world watched in horror, at 9:03 AM, a second passenger airliner, Untied Airlines Flight Number 175 (also commandeered by terrorists) flew in low over the city, took careful and deliberate aim, and slammed into the second World Trade Center Tower.
From another angle, this second terrorist attack on the World Trade Center looked like this:
After this attack, the evacuation of the towers became much more difficult as elevators were out of service, the upper floors were in flames trapping many people there, and only those capable of the long trip down the stairs were able to begin evacuating. Nonetheless, hundreds and hundreds of people began to come out of the buildings. At the same time, hundreds of emergency workers arrived and entered the building to assist the rescue effort and to begin fighting the fires.
Tragically, people on the upper floors who were forced to windows by the smoke and heat of the fire, began to jump from upper floors, apparently preferring the quick death of a fall as opposed to death by flames. Many bodies came raining down, striking cars, light posts, the ground, and tragically, other people. These images are horrific and terribly graphic, but they are the brutal reality of what these diabolical enemies forced upon our nation.
A little over an hour after the first attack, the fires still raged and many thousands of people were still trapped in the buildings. Hundreds of emergency personnel and their vehicles were filling the streets below the buildings. Then, the most horrific and unthinkable thing possible happened. At 10:05 AM, the second tower completely collapsed after its upper floor structure had been weakened by the crash and the heat of the fire.
On the street, there was pandemonium. Hundreds of rescue workers and thousands of people in the tower came down with the tower itself. The huge amount of debris literally buried emergency vehicles, rescue workers, survivors and any who could not move out of the way quickly enough. A billowing cloud of smoke, pulverized concrete dust and debris filled the air over Manhattan.
Soon after this horror, hundreds of rescue workers began making their way back to the site of the destruction. Hundreds of fireman were seen walking past news crews as they went to help the victims, and to help their brother firemen and policemen who themselves had become victims. The first tower to be hit still was burning on the upper floors. There as concern that it too might fall. Then, at approximately 10:28 AM, almost thirty minutes after the first tower collapsed and fell to the streets below, the final tower also failed at the point of the airline impact. It too fell to the streets below in another horrendous rain of concrete, debris, girders and bodies ... burying yet more rescue workers, firefighters, volunteers and survivors.
Again, on the street, there was abject terror and chaos as thousands ran to escape. Another billowing cloud of smoke, dust and debris filled Manhattan. Vehicles, buildings and people were crushed.
Still, through it all, the rescue workers, volunteers and the victims themselves helped one another escape from the horror. Many watched and were grief stricken as the story played itself out literally before their eyes.
Given the great numbers of people working in the tower, given the time of day, given the rapid response and great numbers of rescue workers, firefighters, police and volunteers that quickly arrived on the scene before the buildings collapsed ... it is estimated that anywhere from ten thousand to twenty thousand people may be dead in New York City.
PRESIDENT BUSH GETS WORD OF THE ATTACK, FLORIDA - 9:20 AM
At 9:40 AM the government through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), took the unprecedented step of halting all private and commercial air traffic in all of the United States. All flights in the air are ordered to land, and the U.S. Air Force and Air National Guard are ordered to provide combat air patrols (CAPS) over New York, Washington, DC and many other places in the United States. In addition, both borders with Mexico and Canada are closed.
ATTACK ON THE PENTAGON, WASHINGTON, DC - 9:42 AM
Hundreds of people were in that wing of the building when it was struck by this third commandeered aircraft. The aircraft came in low and plowed into the U.S. Army wing of the pentagon, penetrating three rings and collapsing a portion of the building.
Again, given the time, being right after the beginning of the work day in the Pentagon where several thousand people work in that wing, it is estimated that several hundred people died in the Pentagon. Another two hundred and sixty-six people in total died on the hijacked aircraft.
ANOTHER ATTACK ON CAPITOL FOILED, WASHINGTON, DC - 9:58 AM
A fourth jet had also been hijacked, United Airlines Flight 93. Somewhere near Cleveland, OH, this aircraft turned around and headed for Washington, DC. The terrorists indicated they planned to crash it into the capitol building.
On board this aircraft, several passengers heard what was occurring. They had the chance to call their loved ones on cell phones and discover what other aircraft were doing.
Tom Burnett's phone call:
A man named Tom Burnett called his wife in California on his cell phone from the plane. He was the Chief Operating Officer in a small company in Pleasanton, CA. He was the father of three children. Here is what he told his wife (paraphrased).
Our flight has been hijacked. The terrorists have knives and have stabbed someone. They indicate they are going to crash our plane into the capital building in Washington, DC.Jeremy Glicks Phone call:
Jeremy Glick, traveling on the same flight also called his wife. Jeremy was 6'-2" tall and weighed 220 pounds, he was former college Rugby player and excelled in Judo. Here is what he told his wife (paraphrased):
"Honey, it’s bad news."Linda Gronlund's Phone Call:
One of the women passengers on the plane, Linda Gronlund, was with her boyfriend, Joseph DeLuca. They were flying to California to celebrate Linda's 47th birthday the next day by visiting vineyards. Linda was a lawyer for BMW in Montvale, NJ. She was also a marine chemist, had a brown belt in karate, sailed, was an avid auto mechanic and went scuba diving. From the plane, she called her younger sister, and best friend, Elsa. Here is the paraphrased account of that conversation.
"Elsa, we have been hijacked and we know about the World Trade Center."Todd Beamer's Phone Call:
Another man, Todd Beamer made a call and spoke to a GTE supervisor regarding these same events. In that call, Beamer, 32, an Oracle Inc. executive from Hightstown, N.J, told Lisa Jefferson, that he and others on the plane had decided they would not be a part of the hijackers' plans. Jefferson had informed him about the other hijackings. Beamer made her promise to call his wife and their two boys, David, 3, and Andrew, 1 and let them know he loved them. Beamer's call connected at 9:45 a.m. Here is his paraphrased account.
Sandra Bradshaw's phone call:
One of the Flight attendants, Sandra Bradshaw, was also involved with the plan to take back the aircraft. Bradshaw, an energetic 38-year-old Greensboro flight attendant, called her husband, Phil, to let him know what was happening. She knew, from other passenger cell phone calls, that their plane was now really a guided missile. Here is the paraphrased dialog they had:
"Have you seen what's happening? Have you heard? We've been hijacked."Investigators reviewing all of the evidence, including the cockpit recording are operating on the theory that the passengers somehow made their way up 100 feet from the rear of the plane taking out the hijacker claiming to have the bomb, then storming the cockpit. The last transmission recorded is a hijacker, screaming “Get out of here. Get out of here.” Then grunting, screaming and scuffling. Then silence. Shortly thereafter, United Airline Flight 93 plunged into a field about eighty miles south of Pittsburgh, PA, near Shanksville. Nothing was left except a crater and the small charred pieces of an exploded aircraft for officials to sift through.
Due to the heroic efforts of these few brave Americans, or perhaps due to some other cause, that fourth plane never made it to the terrorists intended destination and hundreds, perhaps thousands, of additional lives were spared. In any case, because they did resist and took positive action to fight the terrorists, those passengers are heroes, and represent the true spirit of America when faced with such trials.
A memorial service was held near the site of the crash a few days later. A haystack memorial was set up where those visiting could leave remeberances. Laura Bush, the Fisrt Lady attended with many of the families. The site of the crash should be made a full National Monument in tribute to the courage, determination and bravery of these individuals, and so that all Americans can know of their heroic struggle and sacrifice, and so that we all can remember that liberty has a dear price. A petition to Congress that effect,to establish a National Monument at the Crash site of Flight 93, has been started.
RESCUE AND RECOVERY EFFORTS
The same effort continued at the Pentagon. Fires continued to break out. Rescue efforts were ongoing. It was thought that anywhere from one hundred to eight hundred victims were trapped under the rubble. While these efforts were going on in that wing of the building, the Secretary of Defense and military planners were putting together options and plans for punishing those who had planned and abetted these acts.
INDOMINATABLE AMERICAN SPIRIT
We will tend to our dead, our injured and our heart broken. We will seek supplication from our God, the Almighty Creator. Then we will tend to this unsavory and terrible business. The enemies of this nation will rue the day that they raised our righteous indignation and ire. A swift, terrible, just and lasting retribution WILL be exacted for this atrocity, this unspeakably horrific act ... count on it, so help us God!
The answer clearly is to visit a horrible, lasting and just punishment and retribution on those who did this act and those who harbored or abetted them so they will NEVER consider doing this again ... and thereby preserve our liberties as our founders intended and is our unalienable right.