Almost two decades ago
Almost two decades ago at approximately 8:45 AM, the world changed for the worse.
A despicable attack against innocent citizens was perpetrated on the United States by the evil that is extremist Islamic terrorism.
From that moment on, our world would never be the same.
In the name of “security,“ we decided, perhaps incorrectly, to give up a great deal of our “freedom.“
Similar to other major events- John F. Kennedy's assassination, the first lunar landing, the space shuttle discovery tradgedy, etc., most folks remember exactly where they were and what they were doing.
I happened to be in a classroom for sales training for a major pharmaceutical company 30 miles from ground zero with 200 other people from across the country.
We knew something was wrong when every person that was a member of the national guard in our training class had their phones ringing at the same time...
The company took us all to the basement and rolled in big screen tvs for us to watch what was happening in real time. They catered food and had us shelter in place. They told us and we saw on the news that every flight had been grounded and that airports were closed.
Eventually, they rented a bunch of cars and minivans and had us all carpool home across the country...
Shortly later, the United States government passed the Patriot Act- one of the most egregious intrusions into the freedom of the American people ever undertaken – and many of us willingly and enthusiastically supported it....
Today, the ripple effect through not just our nation, but the world, can be felt in things that we do every day.
While it started with the introduction of the department of homeland security – those folks working hard, doing a difficult job, that make you take off your shoes, your belt, and walk through a full body scanner anytime you want to get on an airplane- that just the beginning.
The security and defense industry has boomed since that day. Everything from Tomahawk missiles to doorbells with cameras that record every person that walks up to your door have proliferated in numbers never before thought possible. As with many things, this has come with both benefits and unintended consequences, some of those coming along only years later.
Thousands of everyday Americans volunteered to assist in the search and rescue efforts to find over 3000 people buried in the rubble. Fire, rescue, and police from all over New York City and many of the surrounding communities converged at the wreckage site doing anything and everything possible to save the most people. Thousands of those people have now become ill with what has been termed “9/11 syndrome.“ Inhaling the smoke, particles, dust, and vapors from the wreckage area has now killed almost as many people as died in the initial attacks.
From the initial recovery from the shock of this violent, murderous event and from then President George Bush‘s famous quote, the country was united as in only a few times in history...
"Freedom itself was attacked this morning by a faceless coward. And freedom will be defended.
I want to reassure the American people that the full resources of the federal government are working to assist local authorities to save lives and to help the victims of these attacks.
Make no mistake. The United States will hunt down and punish those responsible for these cowardly acts.
I have been in regular contact with the vice-president, secretary of defence, the national security team and my cabinet. We have taken all appropriate security precautions to protect the American people.
Our military home and around the world is on high alert status. And we have taken the necessary security precautions to continue the functions of your government.
We have been in touch with the leaders of congress and with world leaders to assure them that we will do whatever is necessary to protect America and Americans.
I ask the American people to join me in saying a thanks for all the folks who have been fighting hard to rescue our fellow citizens and to join me in saying a prayer for the victims and their families.
The resolve of our great nation is being tested. Make no mistake. We will show the world that we can pass this test.
God bless you."
The United States then began what would become the longest lasting conflict in our nation's history- seeking vengeance and justice for the evil perpetrated against us.
Today, that resolve and unity seems to have been long-forgotten, with people rioting, looting and burning in the streets, perpetrating another "terrorism" against their fellow Americans, their homes and their businesses...
What has been sad is how quickly we all forget that we are "One nation, under God, Indivisible."
Following, and in the picture leading this article is the timeline of the attacks so that you may set your alarms and remember.
Many of us took a vow to never forget... Here at TheBestShootingSite.com, we still haven't.
May God bless the victims of 9/11 and their families and friends, our first responder heroes whose job is to run into the dangers that the rest of us run from, and our military veterans and current members, who continually protect the freedom of this great nation.
Hijackers Mohamed Atta and Abdul Aziz al-Omari go through security at Portland International Jetport in Maine. They take a commuter flight to Boston Logan International Airport, where they board American Airlines Flight 11. In total, 19 hijackers will board four California-bound planes on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001.
Los Angeles-bound American Airlines Flight 11 takes off from Boston Logan International Airport. There are 76 passengers, 11 crew members and five hijackers on board.
United Airlines Flight 175 departs from Boston Logan International Airport, headed for Los Angeles. There are five hijackers, nine crew members and 51 passengers on board.
Flight 11 flight attendant Betty Ann Ong calls ground personnel for American Airlines via an in-flight phone and reports that the plane has been hijacked.
American Airlines Flight 77 takes off from Washington Dulles International Airport. The Los Angeles-bound plane is carrying 53 passengers, six crew members and five hijackers.
Flight 11’s transponder, which is used to track a plane’s movement in the air, is turned off by the hijackers. Air traffic control is no longer able to track the plane’s flight path.
Atta unintentionally makes contact with ground control twice while trying to make an announcement to passengers and crew on Flight 11. One of those communications was heard by Flight 175 pilot Victor J. Saracini, who conveys what he learned to the Federal Aviation Administration. Saracini’s own plane is later hijacked.
Boston’s air traffic control personnel alert the United States Air Force’s Northeast Air Defense Sector, which deploys jets to identify and follow Flight 11.
United Airlines Flight 93 — carrying 33 passengers, seven crew members and four hijackers — takes off from Newark Liberty International Airport after a delayed departure. The plane is en route to San Francisco.
Flight 11 hits the North Tower of the World Trade Center between floors 93 and 99. Immediately following the plane’s impact, emergency dispatchers direct FDNY, EMS and NYPD to the scene. The Port Authority Police Department is also mobilized and evacuation and rescue efforts begin.
President George W. Bush is informed that a plane hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center while he visits an elementary school in Sarasota, Florida.
A Flight 175 attendant, believed to be Robert John Fangman, alerts a United Airlines operator in San Francisco that the plane has been hijacked.
A Port Authority fire safety worker announces that the World Trade Center’s south tower is secure and there is no need to evacuate.
Evacuations of the north and south towers are ordered. The entire World Trade Center complex, made up of seven buildings, is ordered to evacuate shortly after.
Flight 175 crashes into the south tower of the World Trade Center between floors 77 and 85. Many are trapped above the impact zone after the crash destroys two of the building’s three emergency stairwells and severs a majority of the elevator cables.
Bush, still at the Florida elementary school, is told that a second plane has crashed into the south tower. He then makes a televised statement outside of the school, calling the attacks a “national tragedy.”
Renee A. May, a flight attendant on Flight 77, calls her mother from the plane and informs her that they’ve been hijacked. May’s mother then calls American Airlines.
A Secret Service agent’s report of more hijackings prompts the New York City Office of Emergency Management to evacuate from its headquarters in 7 World Trade Center. Vice President Dick Cheney, meanwhile, is evacuated to the Presidential Emergency Operations Center located below the White House.
Flight 77 crashes into the Pentagon, killing 125 military and civilian workers on the ground in addition to the 59 victims and five hijackers on the plane.
All civilian flights across the U.S. are grounded by the FAA.
The White House and U.S. Capitol building are evacuated.
Flight 93 passenger Edward P. Felt successfully calls 911 from the bathroom of the plane after the hijackers fly low enough for cellphone service to work. In total, 37 calls were made by passengers from the hijacked plane.
The south tower of the World Trade Center collapses 56 minutes after being hit by Flight 175. The collapse, which lasted 10 seconds, killed over 800 people and first responders inside the building and the surrounding area. At the same time, the protocol for protecting high-level government officials during a national emergency, called continuity of government procedures, is enacted for the first time in American history.
Flight 93 crashes into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, killing everyone on board. The hijackers crashed the plane after passengers and crew members stormed the cockpit.
A section of the Pentagon’s outer ring collapses due to damage from the crash.
The North Tower of the World Trade Center collapses, killing more than 1,600 people.
Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who had first arrived at the NYPD command post around 9:05 a.m. and was near the south tower when it collapsed, orders the evacuation of lower Manhattan.
Thirteen first responders and one civilian are rescued from a section of the North Tower’s stairwell B, which survived the collapse and protected the people inside. Rescue efforts at the World Trade Center continue throughout the day. Within hours, rescuers and journalists begin referring to the area of the collapsed towers as “Ground Zero.”
Seven World Trade Center collapses after being engulfed in fire for several hours. There are no casualties since the building had been previously evacuated.
Bush addresses the nation, saying that the search for those responsible for the “evil acts,” was already underway and vowing to bring those responsible for the attacks to justice.
Port Authority Police Officer William Jimeno and PAPD Sgt. John McLoughlin are found alive but injured in the debris. It takes rescuers three hours to free Jimeno and eight hours to reach McLoughlin.
Afternoon of Sept. 12, 2001:
Rescuers pull Genelle Guzman, the 18th and final survivor, from the rubble of the World Trade Center.