NEVER FORGET is the phrase we all associate with September 11th and the terrorist attacks on Americans in 2005. We all remember where we were on that Tuesday morning as we witnessed the deadliest attack of terrorism in human history. Recent polls show 74% of Americans consider the attack as the most significant event in their lives. The majority of those numbers come from the Baby Boomer Generation (born 1946-1964) and Millennials (born 1981-1994). So for the younger Gen Zs (born after 1996) here is a simplified timeline of why we will “Never Forget” the tragedies of 9/11.
September 11, 2005
5:45 AM - 19 al-Qaeda terrorists begin taking steps to commit mass murder and mayhem in the United States. Four ordinary passenger jets, fueled for transatlantic flights, will be turned into lethal guided missiles by fanatical hijackers.
8:19 AM - A flight attendant on American Airlines Flight 11 alerts ground personnel that a hijacking is underway and the cockpit is unreachable.
8:46 AM - American Airlines Flight 11 crashes into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in Manhattan, New York. Television networks begin live broadcasting from the site that will soon be known as Ground Zero.
9:03 AM - United Flight 175 crashes into the South Tower of the World Trade Center. America is under attack.
9:37 AM - American Airlines Flight 77 crashes into the Pentagon in Washington DC. The Pentagon serves as the headquarters of the United States Department of the Defense, including all three military services- Army, Navy and Air Force.
9:45 AM - U.S. airspace is shut down for the first time in American aviation history. An estimated 4500 aircraft are ordered to land at the nearest airports. All 4500 landed safely and without incident except for United 93 that has been hijacked and heading straight for the U.S. Capitol.
9:59 AM - the 110 story South Tower of the World Trade Center collapses.
10:02 AM - United Flight 93 plows into an empty field in Pennsylvania. Flight recordings point to passengers taking control of the aircraft and forcing it down.
10:18 AM - President Bush authorizes the military to engage the enemy and to shoot down any unresponsive aircraft. Newly released declassified notes show conversation between President Bush and Vice President Cheney regarding the immense consequences for a pilot to receive the order to shoot down an American aircraft with passengers aboard over U.S. soil. These notes are now public record.
10:28 AM - the 110 story North Tower of the World Trade Center collapses and disintegrates into the fine gray powder that covered the streets and the survivors of New York City.
In just 182 minutes, 2,977 people were murdered. The nation watched helplessly as the innocents were crushed, burned or jumped to their deaths. We can never know the pain the victims and their families have endured. We can never know the sorrow or the sacrifice that so many made that day. But we can honor them by remembering what happened. Remembering the heroes. Remembering the courage of so many. Remembering the first responders. And remembering that we were a great nation undivided that day. We weren’t rich or poor. We weren’t Republican or Democrat. We weren’t black or white. Straight or gay. We were Americans. We can still be. NEVER FORGET …