The world changed on September 11, 2001.
2,753 innocent people were murdered while going about their regular day, while the rest of the world watched in horror as the drama unfolded on live television.
At 7:50 that morning, American Airlines Flight 11 took off from Logan International Airport in Boston en route to Los Angeles. 15 minutes later, United Airlines Flight 175 also departed Boston on its way to Los Angeles. A few minutes after that, American Airlines Flight 77 left Dulles International Airport, also heading for Los Angeles. at 8:41 am, United Airlines Flight 83 departed Newark International Airport for San Francisco. As flight crews reported the hijackings, the government scrambled fighter planes to help. But events unfolded too quickly.
At 8:46 am Flight 11 was crashed into floors 93-99 of the North Tower of the World Trade Center, killing all passengers and crew and hundreds inside the building. Evacuations of the World Trade Center towers were immediately ordered and while thousands of people were fleeing for their lives, Flight 175 hit floors 75-85 of the South Tower at 9:03 am. Less than an hour later, at 9:37 am, Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon, killing all 59 people on board the airplane and 125 people inside the building.
The South Tower of the World Trade Center collapsed at 9:59 am.
Horrified passengers aboard Flight 93 learned about the attacks and attempted to regain control from the hijackers who responded by crashing the plane into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania at 10:03 am, killing all forty passengers and crew.
The World Trade Center’s North Tower collapsed at 10:28 am.
People around the world were stunned by the horrific attacks. President Bush called them “evil, despicable acts of terror” and declared that America, its friends and allies would “stand together to win the war against terrorism.”
As a result of the attacks, The Office of Homeland Security was created to “develop and coordinate the implementation of a comprehensive national strategy to secure the United States from terrorist threats or attacks.”
On December 18, 2001, Congress declared that September 11 would be known as “Patriot Day.”
On the first anniversary of the attacks, September 11, 2002, the first “Tribute in Light” appeared in lower Manhattan, beaming into the sky twin towers of light from where the World Trade Center once stood.