9-11-2001: 77 Minutes That Changed Our World

A factual account of 9-11-2001. We believe that this account of what happened on 9-11-2001 gives a concise and factual recap of some of the events of that day.  A generation of our population has been born since that day and unless the story is shared with there young people, folks will forget as time moves on.  Please save and share.  Thank you Mary Lou Cagle.

9-11-2001: 77 Minutes That Changed Our World
Story by Mary Lou Cagle, Marietta GA.

September 11, 2001, did not start as an unusual day for me. It was 8:30 a.m. and I was following my regular routine which was to have breakfast and then take my second cup of coffee to the living room where I would turn on Good Morning America and read the paper. I could get the local weather and news. It was a nice fall day in Marietta, Georgia and, in New York City, it was also a beautiful early morning with temperatures in the mid-60’s. Suddenly, I heard Diane Sawyer say….” some sort of explosion at the World Trade Center in New York City …a plane may have hit one of the two towers at the World Trade Center…” This began a day which went long into the night and continued for days to come as we watched the unbelievable and horrific events of 9-11 broadcast continually on TV.

It has been 22 years since this attack. Following is a recap of some of the events of that day. This was a well-planned attack on the United States of America by Islamic jihadist mastermind, Osama bin Laden, and al-Qaeda. This, the deadliest terrorist attack in human history, began early in the morning of September 11, when four commercial passenger planes left the East Coast fully fueled and headed for California. Departure times were from 7:59 a.m. until 8:42 a.m. and the origins of the flights included 2 from Boston, MA, 1 from Washington, D.C., and 1 from Newark, N.J. Nineteen hijackers were aboard these planes.

American Airlines Flight 11 had 81 passengers and 11 crew members: 5 terrorists. It departed from Logan International Airport in Boston, MA at 7:59 a.m. and was hijacked at 8:14 a.m. At 8:46 a.m. this plane, travelling at 466 miles an hour, crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center between floors 93-99 and the 77 minutes began. One hour and 42 minutes later at 10:28 a.m. the North Tower collapsed.

United Airlines Flight 175 had 56 passengers and 9 crew members: 5 terrorists. It departed from Logan International in Boston at 8:14 a.m. and it was hijacked at approximately 8:45 a.m. This plane, travelling at 590 miles per hour, crashed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center at 9:03 a.m. between floors 77-85. At 9:58 a.m., 55 minutes after impact, the South Tower became the first building to collapse.

American Airlines Flight 77 departed from Dulles International Airport in Washington, DC at 8:20 a.m. and had 58 passengers and 6 crew members: 5 terrorists. Approximately 30 minutes after take-off, the plane was hijacked. At 9:37 a.m., this plane, travelling at 530 miles per hour, crashed into the Western Side of the Pentagon killing all aboard plus 125 Pentagon personnel.

United Airlines Flight 93 departed Newark International Airport in Newark, NJ (now Newark Liberty International Airport) at 8:42 a.m. had 37 passengers, 7 crew members: 4 terrorists. Approximately 46 minutes into the flight, it was hijacked. It is believed that the planned target of this plane was the White House or Capital in Washington, D.C. The passengers on this flight were heroes. They had been in communication with loved ones and knew of the attacks in New York and the Pentagon. They decided to fight back and stormed the cockpit. Approximately 6 minutes later, at 10:03 a.m., this plane, travelling at 583 miles per hour, crashed into a field in Starkville (Somerset County) Pa. killing all aboard. Starkville is 267 miles from Washington, D.C.

From 8:46 a.m. until 10:03 a.m. is 77 minutes, a lifetime that changed our world forever.

This, by far, does not begin to tell the story of the events of that day and the days to come. The number of people killed in or due to the 9-11 attacks was 2,996. Included in this number are more than 400 first responders: 343 members of the New York City Fire Department, 60 Police Officers, and 8 Paramedics. Fires continued to burn 99 days after the attack. When asked, “How many casualties at the World Trade Center?”, the Mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani, answered, “more than any of us can bear.”

I could write more about this day, but I will close with this. The next time you are in the line at one of our airports and complain about the wait, just remember the 19 terrorists who went through check points and entered the four airplanes without question carrying the box cutters that allowed them to take over the planes and complete their murder-suicide assignments that changed our world forever.