9/11 shocked America and changed the course of modern history. Everyone knows what happened on that day…right? The truth is, many young people don’t, but they need to. CJ Pearson explains why.
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Everybody knows what happened on 9/11, right?
The truth is most of my peers—I was born after 2001—don’t. They almost certainly don’t know why it happened. Most probably don’t even know who did it. Such things aren’t taught in schools now. So here’s what took place on that fateful Tuesday, what the United States of America did about it, and why it’s one of the most important days in American history.
September 11, 2001, began as a beautiful morning on the East Coast. America was at peace—not embroiled in any foreign war. Passengers boarded their early flights, headed to business meetings or to visit relatives across the country.
Tragically, they were not the only ones who boarded planes that morning. Nineteen Islamic terrorists, organized by the terrorist group that calls itself al-Qaeda, directed by its leader, Osama bin Laden, and drawn from four Arab countries, also boarded planes that morning.
All of the planes—the terrorists were split among 4 of them—were cross-country flights, so their tanks were filled to capacity with jet fuel. Within an hour after takeoff, these 19 terrorists would hijack the planes, brutally murder defenseless stewardesses and pilots, and kill 3,000 innocent people.
At 8:46 a.m., a hijacked American Airlines flight leaving Boston crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center, the international symbol of America’s economic power. Seventeen minutes later, a second hijacked plane, also departing from Boston, crashed into the World Trade Center’s South Tower. The two planes, spewing their jet fuel, ignited fires that burned hot enough to compromise the buildings’ structural integrity.
Hundreds of New York firefighters and police officers raced up the towers to rescue the victims. Quite suddenly, the buildings collapsed, killing 343 firefighters, 60 police officers, and thousands of trapped office workers.
A third hijacked plane, leaving Washington’s Dulles Airport, crashed into the Pentagon, the headquarters of the U.S. military; 125 Pentagon workers were killed.
The passengers of a fourth hijacked plane—this one leaving Newark International Airport shortly after the others—had just enough time to learn, via their cell phones, of the other attacks.
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