The September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on America divided two nations, yet knit one closer like the attacks on Pearl Harbor. There were many events that lead up to 9/11 that were only the beginning. The attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001 was the finale. George Bush wrote in his diary, “The Pearl Harbor of the 21st century happened today…” (George Bush). This attack was a surprise, just like Pearl Harbor, but the U.S. reacted swiftly and effectively. The appalling events Now, more than a decade later, the 9/11 attacks still affect our life today.
Before the 9/11 attacks, there were bad vibes between the U.S. and the Middle East. There were multiple attacks on the U.S. and its allies overseas. There was even a bombing that occurred at the World Trade Center on February 26, 1993. After that, there were attacks that killed a total of 53 Americans. The FBI also reported that in 1998, Osama bin Laden declared a holy war against the United States. In that same year, he was quoted saying, “kill Americans wherever they are found” (Fox News). After these threats, there weren’t very many decisions made about how to protect the U.S. There were debates, but no huge change to national security. No huge changes came until after the attacks had occurred.
September 11, 2001 was a regular day across the United States. The skies were clear in New York City, and the temperature was in the sixties. The entire city was beginning its Tuesday morning work day, which entailed a morning rush hour.
The day changed completely at 8:46am, when an airplane hit the World Trade Center. These odd events continued throughout the day, with planes crashing into the other World Trade Center at 9:03am, and another into the Pentagon at 9:37am. There was a fourth plane, which was said to be headed for Capitol Hill or the White House in Washington, D.C., but that plane crashed into a field in Pennsylvania. This day changed safety and security in America forever.
The four hijacked flights took off from airports on the East Coast and were headed to airports on the West Coast, primarily Los Angeles. Because of the distance of travel, the planes were Boeing 757s and 767s, which are larger aircrafts. This meant that they had larger fuel capacities, so when they crashed, the fuel burned extremely hot. This attributed to the collapsing of the World Trade Centers. After looking at the passenger list and seating chart for all four flights, all of the hijackers had seats in the first class or business cabins (9/11 Memorial). This made taking over the cockpit easier. Also, the fact that they had knives made it even easier.
Along with the courage of the passengers on Flight 93, the flight attendants had courage and didn’t fear consequences of their actions. One very distinguished flight attendant was Betty Ong, who was on American Airlines flight 11. She contacted American Airlines and stayed calm on the phone for 25 minutes, until she was disconnected abruptly. About one minute...