9/11: America's Worst Terrorist Attack

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 September 11, 2001. Thousands and millions of people wake up and start their day, whether it be by working, travelling, or even in going to and being at school. What started out as this bright and sunny day in New York and for many others, turned into an extremely tragic and terrifying day for all of the United States.

A group of terrorists called Al-Qaeda had there own plan that day. Hijack 10 planes, kill many, and hit targets of ,but not limited to, skyscrapers, the headquarters of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Central Intelligence Agency, and various nuclear power plants along the East and West along the planes’ lines of travel. Things took a turn though, forcing a new yet still devastating result for the city of New York City and terrified citizens of the United States.

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On this day a total of four of the ten planes were hijacked. Thousands were killed as direct result of the attacks (specifically 2,997 people). Thousands more of people were left to grieve with injuries or disease, and millions left to grieve at the loss of a friend or the attack that had just occurred with their country.

American Airlines Flight 11 (7:59 am) and United Airlines Flight 175 (8:14 am) takes off from Boston, American Airlines Flight 77 (8:20 am) takes off from Washington D.C. with their destination being Boston, Massachusetts; a fourth plane, United Airlines Flight 93 (8:42 am), takes off from Newark, New Jersey to San Francisco, California.

Within the next two hours from the takeoff of Flight 11, the plan takes form and starts to begin.

At 8:45 am Mohammed Atta and the other hijackers aboard American Airlines Flight 11 crash the plane into floors 93-99 of the North Tower of the World Trade Center. This collision instantly killed everyone aboard, and many others within these floors of the North Tower along with leaving a ginormous burning hole. Within seconds the evacuation of this tower began. A few minutes later, the South Tower is also ordered to evacuate. Soon followed by this instruction to evacuate both towers, hijackers crash United Airlines Flight 175 into floors 75-85 of the World Trade Center’s South Tower, and at this point, the United States knew it was under attack.

Many people had started to leap to their deaths rather than face the raging fires caused from the impact of the planes in the towers. Firefighters, EMTs, and police rushed to this scene to try to be of use and help to the best of their abilities.

American Airlines Flight 77 soon follows with another attack at 9:37 am.. Controlled by the hijacker Hani Hanjour, who was a trained pilot, this plane strikes the southwest side of the Pentagon. As a result of the crash, the jet fuel explodes into a fireball, creating another raging fire. Minutes later the Federal Aviation Authority ordered a nationwide ground stop.

About twenty more minutes pass. The South Tower collapses. Within the next thirty minutes the north tower would also collapse. Both of these killed almost anyone trapped or still inside the building.

During this thirty minute time period United Airlines Flight 93, was also hijacked. This plane did not end up crashing into a building like the others though. As passengers had previously learned from phone calls from loved ones, planes were being hijacked and the United States was under attack. They had soon discovered they were one of the ones being hijacked, so they took action. The passengers had attempted to come up with a plan to repossess control of the aircraft from the hijackers to save others lives even if it meant taking their own in the process. And as it would be soon discovered, Flight 93 would be found, crashed in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

America had many different responses to the events of 9/11. The main one that almost everyone knows about is the United States war with Afghanistan. This was designed to capture or kill the leader, Osama bin Laden, of these events on 9/11 and the al-Qaeda militants who helped.

The United States had set out to track osama and his helpers. With the help of the CIA and authorization to take action from the president, they were able to uncover places where he may lay. This eventually became more and more clear through many steps of identifying where his workers retain. Later on, they were able to discover his location and have Navy SEAL team six  confine and kill him along with three other men and women.

There are many other responses that the United States had along with this. Many of these are laws or policies that were put into effect. Some of these include the aviation and transportation security act, the USA patriot act, and instituting new searches and checks at airports. These were put into place in an attempt to prevent any other attacks or hijackings on aircrafts.

Laws concerning immigration and deportation were also put into act as a result of 9/11 in the United States. In 2002, Bush created the Department of Homeland Security.

These would allow for security and other people in the law service to take action if they noticed any suspicious items or people before they made it into another situation that could harm many more people.

There were also the citizens of America’s emotional responses to this event. They all had a strong set of shared values along with the want for justice. This, along citizens fear and with their distress from the attacks, brought out a sense of patriotism among the country.

Many later on banded together to honor the victims of 9/11 on that day and the weeks following. One thing thee people did was comfort and help one another out. Others had flown flags from their homes and businesses. The country ended up with many memorials honoring the victims. Along with this is a tradition many still do to this day, a simple ceremony. They are usually held around America every year on September 11 to honor and remember the fallen, the heros, and the families affected due to this.  

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