Like many of us, we can remember exactly where we were on 9/11, like the generation before us could recall where they were when JFK was shot in Dallas. The memories of that awful day and the days that followed will forever be burned into our memories and it shaped our national policy for years to come.
And many of our young people flocked to the military after the attacks in New York City, the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania after we learned that America had been under a coordinated attack. And now the post 9/11 era veterans are the second largest veterans group in the country after the Vietnam Era.
But like any significant event, there are always the ones who look to change the narrative. There are many in the world that foolishly now claim that the Holocaust is a myth and didn’t actually happen, despite the fact that the Nazi Germany regime of Hitler was nothing if not meticulous record keepers, who documented everything.
Some would have you believe today that 9/11 was brought upon the US by the US itself, by our own actions. Some real tin-foil wearers go as far to say that it was radical Muslim terrorists but Israeli Mossad agents, while others say that a plane never hit the Pentagon that it was some kind of missile. All of this despite mountains of evidence to show that the bin Laden followers indeed caught the US sleeping. Something that must never be allowed to happen again.
Hate carried the day on 9/11 sixteen years ago. The terrorists who flew those planes were manifested by hate for the West, our beliefs, and more than anything else our freedoms. They also hated that their twisted version of Islam was not in a position of being globally supreme over all of the world. And their mission was to murder their way to success.
The terrorists, through their own propaganda machines, would have you believe that their terror tactics are the weapon for the weak masses to rise up against Western, read that Non-Islamic interests. When in fact it is quite the opposite. It is a weapon against the weak, the civilians who only want to go about their daily lives in peace.
So on the 16th anniversary of the events of 9/11, let us remember what we set out to do in the very aftermath of those horrible days. Stamp out the terror and hate wherever they may reside.
The timeline of that day is listed below as the events unfolded.
8:46 the first plane hits the World Trade Center: This is the moment when Mohammed Atta and the hijackers and passengers on Flight 11 smashed into the 93-99th floors of the WTC North. Everyone on the plane and several hundred people were killed instantly. Firefighters from the NYFD on the ground right below the scene witness this and move quickly into action. This was captured by a film crew doing a documentary on the Firemen. Little did they know they would be capturing history.
9:03 the second plane hits the World Trade Center: Now, hijackers crash United Airlines Flight 175 into floors 75-85 of the World Trade Center’s South Tower, killing everyone on board and hundreds more inside the building. Now there is no longer the fallacy of the first plane being an accident. That plane was caught on film by hundreds of photographers and news video camera who were covering the initial crash, thinking it was an accident. The fireball of thousands of gallons of aviation fuel and the explosion burst thru the opposite side of the World Trade Center and create a fireball which will weaken the structure beyond its saving.
9:37 the Pentagon is Hit: Hijackers aboard Flight 77 crash the plane into the western façade of the Pentagon in Washington, killing all 59 on board the plane and 125 military and civilian personnel inside the building. It created a hole that went deep inside the building and by a miracle didn’t kill many more.
9:59 am the South Tower of the World Trade Center collapses: Shock is the only way to describe watching that unfold. It looked surreal, like a bad disaster film, and the only thing one could think about was the hundreds if not thousands of people trapped inside.
Later as we’ve seen in the documentaries done on 9-11, the NYC Fire Department was inside the building and making their way up to the worst hit floors. As filmmakers recorded the firemen, what sounded like artillery shells hitting outside was the sound of bodies impacting on the concrete as people hurtled out the windows rather than be burned alive. There were no illusions now as to what they were facing.
10:07 am Flight 93 crashes into a field in Pennsylvania: After passengers and crew members aboard the hijacked Flight 93 contact friends and family and learn about the attacks in New York and Washington, they mount an attempt to retake the plane. In the ensuing fight, the hijackers deliberately crash the plane into a field in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, killing all 40 passengers and crew aboard.
One passenger was on the phone with his family when they learned of the other hijacked planes and their fates. The passengers decide to mount an attempt to retake the plane. In the middle of this group of passengers is a pilot who they hoped would be able to refly the plane to safety. The last thing his family heard was “Let’s Roll! As they crashed into the cockpit and were retaking it from the terrorists, the terrorist pilot put the plane into a steep dive that it was impossible to recover from.
10:28 am the World Trade Center’s North Tower collapses: 102 minutes after being struck by Flight 11, the first tower that was hit collapses. It was a stunning sequence of events, Manhattan was covered by a pall of smoke and dust. It was a shocking spectacle that no one could believe was happening. Manhattan was invisible from across the river on Interstate 95. The entire world was watching on television and much like the moon landings of 1969 but for an entirely different reason, we were glued to it for much of the next few days.
The aftermath triggered the U.S. government response. Massive investigations followed as we tried to figure out where everything had gone so wrong. The Patriot Act came into being over this, something social activists would point to as a government overreaction.
But a few weeks later the United States would begin to strike back. A handful of Green Berets from the 5th Special Forces Group would be airdropped into Afghanistan to make contact with the Northern Alliance fighters that were in combat against the Taliban, who gave the Al-Qaeda terrorists their safe-haven from the West.
In short order, these men would begin to direct the efforts of ousting the Taliban and Al-Qaeda from Afghanistan. Osama bin Laden would leave and flee into the mountains and be forced into hiding. It took a long time but he eventually paid for 9/11 in a small town in Pakistan when Navy SEALs took him out. The mastermind of 9/11 was dead. But the struggle against terror moves on. The terrorists now aren’t being as bold as in 2001. But while their tactics have changed, their aims have not.