The 9/11 Attacks, Tributes, & Memorials
Like many of you, I know exactly where I was, what I was doing, and who I was with when I first heard about the atrocities of that fateful day… September 11, 2001.
For those of you who don’t know or would like to know more, at 8:46 a.m. (Eastern time), five hijackers crashed American Airlines Flight 11 into the northern facade of the World Trade Center’s North Tower (1 WTC). At 9:03, another five hijackers crashed United Airlines Flight 175 into the southern facade of the South Tower (2 WTC). At 9:37 another five hijackers flew American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon.
A fourth flight, United Airlines Flight 93, crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, at 10:03 after the passengers put up a valiant fight to overtake the four hijackers. The target is believed to have either been the Capitol or The White House. The hijackers, sensing they would not be able to complete their egregious mission, purposefully downed the aircraft. Some passengers and crew members were able to call loved ones during this time, giving insight into what was happening, and saying what they feared would be their last words to those they loved. Needless to say, there were no survivors on any of the flights.
Due to the crash and intense heat from the fires caused by the crash, The Twin Towers, the Marriott Hotel at 3 World Trade Center and the building at 7 World Trade Center all collapsed. Other nearby buildings sustained extreme damage as well, including the Deutsche Bank at 130 Liberty Street. I can vividly remember, with my eyes glued to the television, watching the seemingly indestructible symbols of the greatest city in the world, tumble to the ground. I could not believe what I was seeing, as if I was experiencing a very bad nightmare in slow motion.
At 9:42 a.m. all civilian aircraft were grounded in the Continental United States, and those in flight were told to immediately land. Civilian aircraft from Mexico and Canada were banned from landing on U.S. territory for three days.
Firefighters from the New York City Fire Department rushed to The World Trade Center just minutes after impact. Originally an incident Command Post was established in the lobby of the North Tower. However, due to falling debris it was moved to West Street. Regardless, numerous heroic Fire Chiefs remained in the lobby to keep in communication with their squad who fearlessly went up and down the towers looking for survivors in the rubble, and those trapped on the floors that remained intact. Numerous other staging centers were set up near The World Trade Center.
Police, Doctors, EMT’s, Paramedics, Coast Guards, The Maritime Industry, various divisions of the US Military, individual boat owners, and even amateur short wave radio operators all joined in the rescue mission.
DEATHS & SURVIVORS
Known as the deadliest attacks on U.S. soil, approximately 3,000 people died in these treacherous acts, and over 6,000 were injured. Miraculously 15 people escaped from the North Tower of the World Trade Center attack before the building collapsed. The South Tower had 18 survivors, all from the floors beneath the impact zone of the plane. Following the buildings’ collapse, only 23 people, including first responders, made it out of the debris. Hundreds of thousands of tons of toxic debris containing more than 2,500 contaminants, including known carcinogens, were spread across Lower Manhattan due to the collapse of the Twin Towers. Exposure to the toxins emitted is alleged to have contributed to fatal or debilitating illnesses to those who were at ground zero. The stock exchanges did not open on 911 and remained closed until September 17th. The Dow fell 684 points.
In New York City, a memorial competition was held and the winning design, “Reflecting Absence” was completed on September 11, 2011.
In Arlington County, the Pentagon Memorial was open to the public on September 11, 2008.
In Shanksville, a concrete-and-glass visitor’s center was opened on September 10, 2015. It is situated on a hill overlooking the crash site.
On every anniversary, in New York City, the names of those who died there, are read out loud. The President of The United States attends a memorial service at The Pentagon and asks all Americans to observe “Patriots Day” with a moment of silence. A similar service is held in Shanksville, and usually the President’s spouse will attend.
There are so many more things that can be said and cited and grieved upon regarding The 911 Attacks, that I cannot begin to cover in this article. Should you wish to seek out more information, the web is filled with it. For me, in closing, I would like to say thank you to all the brave men and women who participated in the rescue missions….to those, who afterward, were there for survivors and survivor’s families be it physically, emotionally and/or monetarily…(one of which was a restaurateur and dear friend of mine who was so moved by the participation of the Firefighters, that she went to New York City and visited each and every fire station and cooked for them all. Well-done Angie!) And my personal wish is that God keep His sovereign hand over our land and protect us from future harm. Please take time on this September 11th and beyond, to remember the victims and heroes of The 911 Attacks. And should you wish to participate in a 911 Memorial service, locations and times are listed below.
**Excerpts taken from Wikipedia.
***At the date of this publication, all events are still scheduled. Please check the day of the event.
ORANGE COUNTY TRIBUTES & MEMORIALS
Anaheim “9/11 Memorial Ceremony American” Legion Post 72 936 N. Lemon St. Website
Anaheim “9/11 20th Anniversary Memorial Ride” LifeStyles Cycles 1510 N. State College Blvd. Website
Brea “Lights of Remembrance” Downtown Brea Website
Costa Mesa “911 20th Anniversary Remembrance Event” The Hanger 1011-1165 Arlington Drive Website
Garden Grove “Never Forget Reggae Festival” The Garden AMP 12762 Main St. Website
Huntington Beach “Journey Captured Never Forget” SeaSalt Beachside Burger 17851 PCH Website
Huntington Beach “9/11 Patriot Day Celebration” Huntington Beach Pier 1 Main St. Website
Irvine “City of Irvine & Team Kids 9/11 Remembrance” Civic Center Plaza 1 Civic Center Plaza Website
Newport Beach “20-Years Remembrance” Veterans Park 215 15th St. Website
Santa Ana “9/11 Service of the Bells & Lights” Post 10694 1404 N. Grand Ave. Website
Tustin “Special Tribute to 9/11” Tustin Senior Center 200 S. “C” St. Website
Westminster “9/11 Memorial Motorcycle Ride” Indian Motorcycles of OC 13031 Goldenwest St. Website
Yorba Linda “Remembering 9/11 20-Years After the Tragedy” Richard Nixon Library 18001 Yorba Linda Blvd. Website
Written by: Patricia Braun
Research Assistant: Erica Nielsen