This article was published by me originally on ViewsPaper.
September 11,2001 is the date that is echoed in every American's mind. It is remembered not only by the Americans but everyone else in this world as the deadliest attack of the 20th century. Whenever we remember 9/11 the image of the twin towers burning appears within a flash of a second. The scale of disaster, loss of lives and the smoke that filled in the entire Manhattan area all these are the visuals that we had seen in the live TV news channels.
There may be many dates in the world history which everyone remembers but this event is the fresh one among those which evokes emotion from our heart. I want to start narrating this incident from the day when I actually heard about it. Ten years ago September 11, 2001 was an important date for me. I was about to get my first year engineering exam results. I was delighted to see an A on my marksheet and was very happy to go and give this news to my father.
On my way home I had so many ideas to celebrate my first success in the career. But when I reached home which was 7 PM in India which means around 9.30am in New York. My father was glued to the television as he just arrived from his office. When I stepped into my home first thing he said "A plane flew into world trade center and New York's financial capital building is under attack !"
My first expression was "Whattttttt" ? This is astonishing. It was the first time I ever heard about World Trade Center of New York City. Being born and brought up in India, I was not very familiar with any of the buildings of USA apart from statue of liberty, White house and Pentagon. So, my next question was are these other buildings safe?? My father gave a horrified look and said "You don't know what WTC towers are don't u?" I nodded to say No. It was then and there I came to know about WTC and how it influenced the finance area of USA. There were more than 900 companies established in the twin towers. So, many multi national companies and people from all different diversities worked there. I saw some videos that showed how the north tower was still burning in flames and people were out of their windows crying for help and some of them even toppled from the 100+ floors of WTC just to get some fresh air !
My heart cried after seeing the plight of these people and my mind started giving weird rescue ideas like why dont' they arrive with 50 helicopters and pick these people from respective floors, like they show in hollywood movies. I came to know from the news that one of the plane has hit pentagon and white house was safe since there was a plane that crashed in the farms. I saw thousands of people on the streets screaming "oh my god, there is an attack". They realized that it was an attack after second plane hit the south WTC tower.
This was in 2001. After few years passed I arrived in united states to do masters. I forgot about this incident somehow but whenever some one mentioned about it I used to go online and read some information about this attack. This is compilation of what I have understood has happened.
Early morning of 11th Sept, 2001 a group of 19 hijackers took control of 4 commercial airlines from Boston, Newark and Washington D.C. The flights that were involved are:
- American airlines Flight 11 - Boston to Los Angeles, crashed into North WTC tower
- United Airlines Flight 175 - Boston to Los Angeles, crashed into South WTC tower
- American Airlines Flight 77 - Washington to Los Angeles, crashed into Pentagon
- United Airlines Flight 93 - Newark to San Francisco, crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania
At about 8.46 am, five hijackers crashed AA flight 11 into the north world trade center tower. There were not much videos about this attack so everybody were under the impression that a bomb exploded in the north tower. People from the north tower started evacuating immediately. The smoke was rising in the area surrounding to the north WTC tower and everybody looked horrified on the streets. There were lot of people in the nearby Battery park, New York and the traffic was stand still even on the Brooklyn bridge. Everybody were shocked to see a big giant building burning in flames.
The news channels from all over the world had started turning their camera towards the world trade center and the disaster. It was right after 15mins another 5 hijackers crashed United Airlines 175 into the south tower at 9.03am. The whole world was shook by this incident. Many channels covered this incident live on their channel. A big giant airplane from nowhere strikes the south WTC tower and it is like an explosion to the people around there. Now, everyone was convinced that this was a planned attack and USA is under danger.
Five hijackers flew American airlines 77 into the Pentagon at 9.37am. These series of attacks with very less time difference choked the minds of American people. The south WTC tower collapsed at 9.59am after burning for 56 minutes while the north tower collapsed at 10.28am after burning for 102 minutes. When the north tower collapsed, debris fell on the other world trade center buildings causing damages and igniting fires. The pentagon sustained major damages due to the crash.
All the other airlines flying in the united states were asked to ground immediately thereby locking the cockpit. The international passenger flights were redirected to Canada and Mexico, and for three days all the flights to the USA were cancelled. Later on it was discovered that the fourth flight United Airlines 93 never made to the target which was Capitol building and not White house. Two weeks after the attack the government confirmed the death toll of around 6000 people ! More than 90 countries lost their citizens in the attacks on the world trade center.
Now after 10 years of this attack, one major achievement for America would be the death of Osama Bin Laden who admitted to be the one who planned the attack. Also, on 11 Sept, 2011 the ground zero has been made a memorial that is open to the public. In the link mentioned below you can access the names of all the individuals who lost their lives either in the airplane or in the world trade towers. This post of mine is a tribute to all the individuals who died on this occasion.
The link to the memorial - http://www.911memorial.org/
Below is the newspaper page of Wall street journal dated 12th Sept, 2001.
References – Wikipedia and all the news agencies that covered 9/11 attacks live. Wall street journal.