Tuesday, September 11th,2001, was soon to be known as a day of infamy.
Nineteen Islamic extremists withal-Qaeda hijacked four planes, aiming to target key places in the United States.The extremists had targeted and hit both the twin towers and the Pentagon. Thefourth plane missed the White House due to the actions of passengers onboard.Killing nearly three thousand people, it triggered a multitude of initiatives tocombat terrorism. At 8:45 a.m. on September 11, aBoeing 767 crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center.
It left alarge amount of damage around the 80th floor, killing hundreds ofpeople and trapping those in floors above. Evacuation began immediately, but amere 18 minutes later, a second 767 crashed into the south tower around the 60thfloor. As events were developing in New York, a third plane crashed into thewestern side of the Pentagon, casting an inferno that caused a portion of thestructure to collapse. Quickly after the Pentagon was hit, the south towercollapsed.
An hour and a half later, the north tower collapsed, leaving only sixsurvivors between both towers who were in the World Trade Center towers whenthey collapsed. Meanwhile, about fifteen minutesbefore the north tower collapsed, the fourth plane was hijacked. However, sincethe plane was delayed, the passengers learned of the events unfolding in NewYork and Washington D.C. through their phones. Knowing that the hijackers werenot bringing the plane back to the airport as claimed, the passengers and attendantsplanned a subversion. They fought the hijackers, and are suspected to havecaused the plane to flip over, crashing in a rural field, killing everybodyonboard.
Its intended target was not known, although some theories speculate thehijackers may have been aiming at the White House, Camp David, or one of manynuclear power plants along the east coast. When all was said and done, a totalof 2996 people were killed as a result of the September 11 attacks. At the WTC,2763 people were killed, including 343 paramedics and firefighters, 23 New Yorkpolice officers, and 37 Port Authority police officers.
189 were killed at the Pentagon,including 64 onboard the plane. 44 were killed in the plane crash that missedits intended target. Overall, the events of September 11 made a large impact onthe way the United States looked at itself and the world. While it created anew surge of unity and pride across the nation, it also created a sense ofvulnerability.