9/11: A Day To Remember

This article was originally uploaded on September 17, 2020.

On September 11th, 2001, America witnessed a great loss. A series of 4 terrorist attacks occurred on this day leaving many severely injured and even dead. This day in history is now known as Patriot Day. Here’s what exactly happened on this day.

At 8:46 AM, American Flight 11 crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. People weren’t sure if this was accidental or on purpose, Then, at 9:03 AM, United Flight 175 crashed into the South Tower.

At this point, people started to realize what was going on and some news channels started to record it on live television. Once the second plane hit the tower, it exploded, leaving both the towers burning. At 9:40 AM, American Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon. After this attack, the FAA ordered all aircraft to land at the nearest airport. At 9:59 AM, the South Tower completely collapsed due to the damage.

At 10:03 AM, United Flight 93 crashed into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Its believed that the flight´s target was the US Capitol. The passengers, after hearing about what was happening, attempted to gain control of the flight and divert the hijackers and prevent them from hitting their target. At 10:28, the Nort Tower had also collapsed. This attack was perpetrated by Al-Qaeda. Al-Qaeda was a militant Islamic organization founded by Osama Bin Laden in the late 1980s.

The aftermath of this was devastating. The victims ranged from ages 2-85, and approximately 75-80% were men. There were 25,000 nonfatal injuries and 2,977 deaths. Out of those 2,977 deaths, 343 of them were firefighters and 60 were police officers who rushed to help with people in the buildings.

Although the death number was very high, structural damage analysis reveals that the number could’ve, in fact, been much higher. Construction of the Pentagon began, very ironically, on September 11th. It lasted for 16 months and used 15,000 construction workers, Before America had entered WWII, President Franklin D. Roosevelt had known that there needed to be a home base for upcoming military operations near the Capitol. It was completed in 1943 and was the world’s largest low-rise office building including 6.5 million square feet of office space and could contain up to 26,000 workers. When it was built, no one would’ve thought that it would be used as a monument for the US military power or even a target for a terrorist attack. The Pentagon would need to store heavy caches of records for the long haul, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built in excess strength and structural redundancies that ended up saving thousands of lives on 9/11. Donald Dusenberry, a structural engineer, discovered that even though 26 columns on the first floor were completely demolished and 15 other columns severely damaged, the upper floors of the building did not collapse immediately. In fact, it was a whole 30 minutes before even a portion of the building directly above the crash site collapsed, allowing a sufficient amount of time for victims to escape with their lives.

This was such a tragic event and those who lost their lives and those who sacrificed their lives to help will never be forgotten. Happy Late Patriots Day!