20th Anniversary of 9/11

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Lexi Garza

On September 11, 2001, something horrible happened. At 8:46 a.m., the north twin tower was hit by a hijacked American Airlines flight. News stations everywhere were broadcasting what they thought was a freak accident. Seventeen minutes later, at 9:03 a.m., a second hijacked plane, United Airlines flight 175, crashed into the South Twin Tower. This was no freak accident; America was under attack.

The nineteen terrorists were a part of the Al-Qaeda terrorist group. They had snuck knives and box cutters onto the planes and used them to hijack the planes. While everyone else was watching the twin towers in New York City, a third hijacked plane, American Airlines flight 77, circled over Washington D.C. before crashing into the west side of the Pentagon at 9:45 a.m. A total of 189 people died at the Pentagon, including everyone on the plane. Less than 15 minutes later, the south twin tower collapsed in a massive cloud of dust and smoke.

Many first responders and survivors breathed in the debris and got fatally sick from it. At 10:30 a.m. the North Twin Tower collapsed in the second wave of smoke and debris. Only six people who were inside the towers at their collapse survived. Around 10,000 people were injured, and 2,763 people died in New York. It seemed the day was only getting worse. United Airlines Flight 93 was delayed so the passengers already knew about the attacks in New York. When the terrorists hijacked the plane about forty minutes after takeoff,  the passengers knew that they were about to be a part of another attack. A group of flight attendants and passengers decided to take back the plane. They crashed it in an open field in Pennsylvania. All 44 people on the plane were killed in the crash. Nobody knows where that plane was headed.

A total of 2,996 people died in the 9/11 attacks, including all nineteen terrorists. The mastermind behind the attack and leader of Al-Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden, remained hidden for ten years and was finally caught and killed by American forces on May 2, 2011. There is now a memorial and museum where the Twin Towers used to be, a memorial at the Pentagon and a memorial statue where flight 93 crashed in Pennsylvania. Americans will never forget the 9/11 attacks or the people who died in them.