September 11, 2001: The Day This Nation Stood Still

It was 21 years ago today, that not only this nation, but the world as a whole, was changed forever. Thousands of lives were lost as a result of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.

It all began at 5:45 a.m., when hijackers passed through security screenings in Portland, Maine. 19 terrorists hijacked four California-bound commercial planes just after their departures from airports in Boston, Massachusetts, Newark, New Jersey, and the Washington D.C. Metropolitan area.

Two of the intended hijackers Mohamed Atta and Abdul Aziz al-Omari boarded a commuter flight to Boston Logan International Airport, where they board American Airlines Flight 11.

At 7:59 a.m., Flight 11 took off from Boston and heads for Los Angeles, California. At takeoff, there were 76 passengers, 11 crew members, and 5 hijackers aboard.

Then, at 8:15 a.m., United Airlines Flight 175 takes off from Boston heading to Los Angeles. There were 51 passengers, 9 crew members, and 5 hijackers on the plane at the time the aircraft left the runway.

At 8:19 a.m., Betty Ann Ong, a flight attendant on Flight 11, warned the ground crew that a hijacking was taking place and the cockpit in inaccessible.

Meanwhile, at 8:20 a.m., American Airlines Flight 77 took off from Dulles, just outside of the Nation’s Capital and headed for Los Angeles, at the time there were 53 passengers, 6 crew members, and 5 hijackers on the aircraft.

At 8:24 a.m., hijacker Mohamed Atta, aboard Flight 11 unintentionally lets air controllers in Boston know of the attack.

Fast forward to 8:42 a.m., and United Flight 93 took off from Newark, New Jersey, after a delay. It headed to San Francisco, California. At the time of takeoff, there were 33 passengers, 7 crew members, and 4 hijackers on the flight.

At 8:46 a.m., Flight 11 crashed into the World Trade Center’s North Tower and all passengers were instantly killed while employees of the World Trade Center were trapped above the 91st floor.

At 9:03 a.m., Flight 175 crashed into the South Tower all passengers were killed including an unknown number of people in the tower.

At 9:28 a.m., hijackers attack on Flight 93. While Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon at 9:37 a.m.

By 10:30 a.m., both towers had become nothing but rubble and at 5:30 p.m. Building 7 at the World Trade Center came crashing down.

It was on this day 21 years ago, that 2,977 lives were lost and families changed. Our homeland was under fire and our people were blown away and some went down heroes in that Shanksville, Pennsylvania field.

The deadliest attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor in December of 1941 changed the way we live our daily lives. It changed the way we see our freedoms. It brought to light the frailness of life and just how quickly a completely innocent life can be taken.

May we never forget what was the day the nation stood still, September 11, 2001. God Bless.

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