9/11: Only A Memory For Some; Devastation For Others

J. Harris

Where were you when the buildings fell?


It was a beautiful, sunny, crisp, bright fall day that morning in Atlanta. I was at my job on the 26th floor of the 191 Building on the famous Peachtree Street. It was Tuesday. Thankfully the company had televisions because they tracked trade prices and such so I saw what I saw.

My desk was actually across the hall but I popped in because there was news of a fire in the Twin Towers. One of the associates said, “Don’t worry about it. I’m from New York. It happens all the time.” I never heard of that before so I went to see what was going on.

I was just in time to see the second plane go into the South Tower at 9:02 a.m. It still brings me to tears today. Then, everyone’s heart in the world stopped for a brief minute. Their brains went into shock and they questioned what they just saw. How could that be? What just happened?

Everyone stopped working. All we could do was listen to the broadcast and watch the replay. OMG! The U.S.A. is under attack! We didn’t at that time know who was doing it.

Here is the timeline of what happened on that day:

7:59 a.m.: American Airlines Flight 11, a Boeing 767 carrying 81 passengers and 11 crew members, departs 14 minutes late from Logan International Airport in Boston, bound for Los Angeles International Airport. Five hijackers are aboard.

8:14: United Airlines Flight 175, a Boeing 767, carrying 56 passengers and 9 crew members, departs 14 minutes late from Logan International Airport in Boston, bound for Los Angeles International Airport. Five hijackers are aboard.

8:14: Flight 11 is hijacked over central Massachusetts, turning northwest, then south.

8:20: American Airlines Flight 77, a Boeing 757 with 58 passengers and 6 crew members, departs 10 minutes late from Washington Dulles International Airport, for Los Angeles International Airport. Five hijackers are aboard.

8:42: United Airlines Flight 93, a Boeing 757 with 37 passengers and 7 crew members, departs 42 minutes late from Newark International Airport, bound for San Francisco International Airport. Four hijackers are aboard.

8:428:46 (approx.): Flight 175 is hijacked above northwest New Jersey, about 60 miles northwest of New York City, continuing southwest briefly before turning back to the northeast.

8:46:40: Flight 11 crashes into the north face of the North Tower (1 WTC) of the World Trade Center, between floors 93 and 99. The aircraft enters the tower intact.

8:508:54 (approx.): Flight 77 is hijacked above southern Ohio, turning to the southeast.

9:02:57: Flight 175 crashes into the south face of the South Tower (2 WTC) of the World Trade Center, between floors 77 and 85. Parts of the plane, including the starboard engine, leave the building from its east and north sides, falling to the ground six blocks away.

9:28: Flight 93 is hijacked above northern Ohio, turning to the southeast.

9:37:46: Flight 77 crashes into the western side of The Pentagon and starts a violent fire.

9:45: United States airspace is shut down.

9:59:00: The South Tower of the World Trade Center collapses, 56 minutes after the impact of Flight 175.

10:03:11: Flight 93 is crashed by its hijackers as a result of fighting in the cockpit 80 miles (129 km) southeast of Pittsburgh in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. Later reports indicate that passengers had learned about the World Trade Center and Pentagon crashes and were resisting the hijackers. The 9/11 Commission believed that Flight 93’s target was either the United States Capitol building or the White House in Washington, D.C.

10:28:22: The North Tower of the World Trade Center collapses, 1 hour and 42 minutes after the impact of Flight 11. The Marriott Hotel, located at the base of the two towers, is also destroyed.

10:50:19: Five stories of part of the Pentagon collapse due to the fire.

5:20:33 p.m.: 7 World Trade Center, a 47-story building, collapses.
Source: Wikipedia.org

So many people died:

8:44: Flight attendant Amy Sweeney, aboard Flight 11, reports by telephone to Michael Woodward at the American Airlines Flight Services Office in Dallas, “Something is wrong. We are on a rapid descent. We are all over the place.” A minute later, Woodward asks her to “describe what she sees out the window”. She responds, “I see the water. I see the buildings. I see buildings.” After a short pause, she reports, “We are flying low. We are flying very, very low. We are flying way too low.” Seconds later she says, “Oh my God, we are way too low.” The call ends with a burst of very loud, sustained static.

During the September 11 attacks of 2001, 2,977 people died, 19 hijackers committed murder/suicide, and more than 6,000 others were injured. The immediate deaths included 265 on the four planes (including the terrorists), 2,606 in the World Trade Center and in the surrounding area, and 125 at the Pentagon. The attacks were the deadliest terrorist act in world history, and the most devastating foreign attack on United States soil since the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Source: Wikipedia.org

President George W. Bush was in office. He led the people to a stronger America after that and we “didn’t take no shit” either.

If President Trump was in office then, what would be the reaction? Would he run and wave it off? Would he say, “Oh, fake news! Witchhunt. Get over it.”

Photo Wikipedia.org

Is our world the same today? Would this happen again? People, politics, regimes have changed since then. All the hijackers are either dead or still locked up at Guantanamo. Is it really a safer world after the fighting that has endured since in the Gulf?

The trial has finally been set for 2021. It has been held up because of torture by the C.I.A. and other issues that have not been resolved. Five are still alive and living in Guantanamo and no trial has taken place since 2001.

In July 2012, a prosecutor, Ed Ryan, urged the judge to set a date saying, “Our client, this nation, deserves a reckoning.”

I have heard some stories from people that were in New York that day. One person was supposed to be at a meeting with a client on the 90th floor but it was canceled.

Another person I know said they had just passed the Twin Towers in a taxi when the second plane hit. He said he will never forget the sound it made.

Another person was running late and he missed his train as well.

All of them now know they would’ve been dead if their plans had taken place.

I will never forget it. That’s for sure and no one else that was living then and saw on TV what was happening. What was more than stunning was watching the buildings fall. It was unreal. No one had ever seen such destruction. Also, watching the bodies fall; the ones who wanted to jump. That took courage. Which was worse burning alive or jumping. Could you make a decision like that?

Today it seems it “was just something that happened.” They call it Patriot Day, but that is just not enough. It’s as if no one remembers or wants to remember. It is hardly televised anymore. There is no pomp and circumstance and there should be. I know it is mostly about death, attacks, and destruction, but we have to "REMEMBER" that day. It is very important. A lot of brave Americans fought that day to keep what they could safe from terrorists. Everyone on the planes, everyone in the buildings and surrounding areas were so brave. Everyone had to walk home because all the bridges were closed and the trains and ferries had stopped. How do you get through a day like that without trauma?

Think about the firefighters and policemen that lost their lives. Their children are now grown without fathers, mothers, sisters, and brothers that were lost on that fateful day.

More needs to be remembered about this day.

It is So sad! And it seems that not enough is down to help everyone remember.

Bless them all. They had no choice but to die twenty years ago. It seems an injustice that the terrorists have not been tried yet as well. God Bless America!

Jo Ann Harris is an author, parent, book devotee, writer, copywriter, and film fanatic. She is an autodidact who learns about everything on her own. She grew up and worked in Atlanta, Georgia, and lived there sixty years. She writes articles about love, hope, personal life stories, advice, and poems. She is a published author with an article in Woman’s World magazine in October 2017.

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I usually write about a lot of subject matter from my own personal life to animal behavior. Everything in between. I have been writing for over two years but have always been a writer and avid reader. I lived in Atlanta, GA for sixty years then moved to South Florida and it was a huge change for me. I write truth as I see it in hopes it will help others.

Plantation, FL

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