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Lest We Forget:

Early in the morning on September 11, 2001, nineteen hijackers took control of four commercial airliners en route to San Francisco and Los Angeles from Boston, Newark, and Washington, D.C. (Washington Dulles International Airport). The hijackers flew two of the airliners, American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175, into the North and South Towers of the World Trade Center. Another group of hijackers flew American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon. A fourth flight, United Airlines Flight 93, whose ultimate target was either the U.S. Capitol building or the White House, crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

During the hijacking of the airplanes, the hijackers used box cutters to kill passengers and crew members, but some passengers were able to make phone calls using the cabin airphone service and mobile phones. They reported that several hijackers were aboard each plane. The hijackers had reportedly taken control of the aircraft by using knives and box-cutter knives to kill flight attendants and at least one pilot or passenger, including the captain of Flight 11, John Ogonowski The 9/11 Commission established that two of the hijackers had recently purchased Leatherman multi-function hand tools. Some form of noxious chemical spray, such as tear gas or pepper spray, was reported to have been used on American 11 and United 175 to keep passengers out of the first-class cabin. A flight attendant on Flight 11, a passenger on Flight 175, and passengers on Flight 93 mentioned that the hijackers had bombs, but one of the passengers also mentioned he thought the bombs were fake. No traces of explosives were found at the crash sites. The 9/11 Commission Report believed the bombs were probably fake.

On United Airlines Flight 93, black box recordings revealed that crew and passengers attempted to seize control of the plane from the hijackers after learning through phone calls that similarly hijacked planes had been crashed into buildings that morning. According to the transcript of Flight 93’s recorder, one of the hijackers gave the order to roll the plane once it became evident that they would lose control of the plane to the passengers. Soon afterward, the aircraft crashed into a field near Shanksville in Stonycreek Township, Somerset County, Pennsylvania, at 10:03:11 a.m. local time (14:03:11 UTC). Al-Qaeda leader Khalid Sheikh Mohammed mentioned in a 2002 interview with Yosri Fouda, an al Jazeera journalist, that Flight 93’s target was the United States Capitol, which was given the code name “the Faculty of Law”.

Three buildings in the World Trade Center Complex collapsed due to structural failure on the day of the attack.The south tower (2 WTC) fell at approximately 9:59 a.m., after burning for 56 minutes in a fire caused by the impact of United Airlines Flight 175.The north tower (1 WTC) collapsed at 10:28 a.m., after burning for approximately 102 minutes. When the north tower collapsed, debris heavily damaged the nearby 7 World Trade Center (7 WTC) building. Its structural integrity was further compromised by fires, and the building collapsed later in the day at 5:20 p.m.

The attacks created widespread confusion among news organizations and air traffic controllers across the United States. All international civilian air traffic was banned from landing on US soil for three days. Aircraft already in flight were either turned back or redirected to airports in Canada or Mexico. News sources aired unconfirmed and often contradictory reports throughout the day. One of the most prevalent of these reported that a car bomb had been detonated at the U.S. State Department’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. Soon after reporting for the first time on the Pentagon crash, CNN and other media also briefly reported that a fire had broken out on the Washington Mall. Another report went out on the AP wire, claiming that a Delta Air Lines airliner—Flight 1989—had been hijacked. This report, too, turned out to be in error; the plane was briefly thought to represent a hijack risk, but it responded to controllers and landed safely in Cleveland, Ohio.


Fatalities (excluding hijackers)
New York City World Trade Center 2,603 died and another 24 remain listed as missing
American 11 88
United 175 59
Arlington Pentagon 125
American 77 59
Shanksville United 93 40
Total 2,974 died and another 24 remain listed as missing.

There were 2,974 fatalities, excluding the 19 hijackers: 246 on the four planes (from which there were no survivors), 2,603 in New York City in the towers and on the ground, and 125 at the Pentagon. An additional 24 people remain listed as missing. All of the fatalities in the attacks were civilians except for 55 military personnel killed at the Pentagon. More than 90 countries lost citizens in the attacks on the World Trade Center.

For more on 9/11 click here.

So tell me. Where Were YOU on September 11th, 2001? And what will you be doing today to commemorate those who lost their lives?

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  • Thanks for keeping this memory alive, so we don’t forget that horrific day – and what it meant to us personally, and to us as a nation (and world). I remember being at work that morning, and hearing about this, and at first thinking it was just one plane crashing. It didn’t take long to realize it was much more than that. It was numbing to comprehend at the time. It was like the world stopped on that day. And yet, today, I really hadn’t thought much about it until I stopped over here. See, I’ve went back to they way things were – and unfortunately, made this another day like any other. So, thank you, Meleah, for this. For the reminder of what has been. I’ll say a prayer today as we continue to fight to keep terrorism at bay.

  • Sitting at home watching as the 2nd plane hit the WTC. I drove to work that day only because I needed to be active so I wouldn’t overreact. To this day, I still question the rationale behind going to work instead of driving to meet my wife and pick up our child. But I don’t dwell on that fact, we’ve all come to terms with our actions that day and will always remember.

    Wonderful post Meleah…I don’t have the strength to produce a memorial post today. I think I might just repost one from the past.

  • This day gives me such a pit in my stomach. I was in Virginia, on vaction with my parents and daughter. My husband was still here in NJ, and was coming down mid-week. We were getting ready for the day, while my daughter was watching Clifford, and my cell phone rang. My husband asked what was going on, and to put on the news/. (He was at work) I changed the channel, just in time to see the second plane hit.

    My Mom and I were screaming. We had alot of family living in the city at the time. My husband and I kept trying to call each other, and couldn’t get through. My Mom couldn’t reach any family. Then we heard about the pentagon.

    From where we were, we could see the smoke. I have never wanted my whole family together in one place, more then I did that day. Not knowing what was happening to our country, and not having my husband there, made me feel lost.

    We got in the car to head out for the day, and listened to the buildings come down, on the radio. We were all speechless and lost for hte rest of the day. My husband came down 2 days later, and we ended up deciding to come home early, as none of us could fathom being on vacation while people were suffering so much.

    As we drove home from Virginia, we were stunned at the outpouring of love and support from people. There were signs EVERYWHERE. We arrived home the night of the candlelight vigil and sat outside with all our neighbors and heard everyones story.

    My family all ended up being fine, although a few watched the whole thing take place, and are forever scarred. I lost a few classmates from high school, and quite a few people from the surrounding towns. I knew Todd Beamer’s wife from soccer, and was just floored to hear what had happened to him.

    Today, I will help a friend celebrate her daughters birthday. She was born Sept. 11 2002, and I firmly believe she is an angel. A shining light through a dark day.

  • i was at work, just walked in the door. heard radios on and people looking out of the window…i worked in Newark, NJ and could see the towers from the window clearly, watched them burn and fall.

    i drove around for a bit, we were let go from work and i went to pick up my kid and we went home. watched the news.

    i don’t do any ceremonies to remember them on this day, i just have never forgotten. i don’t know what i can do to honor their memory or if it will even be enough. i sympathize with the families and i can’t say i share their pain, but i understand.

  • I was just arriving at a school where I had volunteered to paint classrooms for United Way. My friend Mark said to me “Hey, did you hear a plane crashed into the trade center?” I said, Some dumb ass probably didn’t know how to fly a plane and came too close.” We went inside and met the rest of our group. We were painting, when one of the group said, can we put a radio on or something? So we did and heard the whole horrible thing unfold. I lost 2 friends, and feared for 3 others who thank god made it out. One friend grabbed a cab earlier on 43rd street and asked to go to the Trade center and the turbaned cabbie dropped him off 5 blocks before saying he couldn’t go there that day. Scary. Remember this when you vote, and your candidates policy on security.

  • Oh, and Thanks Meleah for recognizing this event.

  • Meleah

    You are very welcome.
    Thank you for sharing your story with us.

    I know. I was way exhausted and wasnt going to do a 9-11 post, but I HAD to. I just couldnt let THIS day go by without posting something.
    I say you should do a re-post. And, thank you for sharing your story with us!!

    Chef Mom:
    Thank you SOOO much for sharing your story with us.
    It was the worst day I can remember. I will share the events that occured in my world that day later on in the comments. Your story brought tears to my eyes.

    I cant imagine being that close and watching it happen in your face. It was terrifying to watch on the news. Today we have a moment of silence in our office, and there are a few ceremonies in town where I work today as the PD from my area was very hands on. I might stop on my lunch hour to pay my respects.

    Thank you for sharing your story with us. And, your welcome.

  • Jen

    I think we always need to recognize this day each year and I’m glad you have here.

    You asked where we were that day….I don’t think I’ve ever written it up before so here goes what I remember…

    My husband (at the time) burned his hand very badly late on September 10th and we were in the hospital when the clock hit midnight and the date turned to Sept 11.

    When we got home from the hospital in the middle of the night I practically carried in my “Percocet drunk” 6’1 husband into our apartment and got him into bed. I was exhausted so I went to sleep as well. I was shockingly awoken by my friend Michelle screaming in my ear about a plane that hit the WTC. I was so confused, tired and delirious from my night. My husband was still knocked out and I didn’t have my contacts in my eyes so I ran into the family room and pressed my face up against the TV so I could see what was going on.

    I couldn’t believe my eyes. I thought how could a pilot have an accident like this? Then I stood there and watched as the 2nd plane hit and then at that point we all knew it was no longer an accident. I didn’t know what to do…I felt helpless, scared, and like I wasn’t awake…I must have been having a nightmare.

    At this point in my career we were closing our office down and I was the last person left keeping the office open until it was officially closed. I made the decision that I needed to go into the office despite all that was happening for one reason only. The reason was the fact that my co-worker and good friend got transferred to another office location when we closed our office. She started her new job in the Deutche Bank building (across from the WTC) the day before. I was scared if she would be okay since she took the Path train under the WTC into the city. I knew her family might be calling our office to try to get in touch with her so I wanted to be in the office in case I could help in any way. I was right…her parents called in a frantic state and we all tried to find a way to get in touch with her.

    Later I found out that she was in the PATH train when this happened and that some people were running back to the trains frantically thinking that there was a bomb in the building. She didn’t know what to do until a man grabbed her hand and ran her out of the building. The Deutche Bank building was completely damaged (being right next to the WTC) and there were deaths of people in that office but she was safe.

    I sat in that office for a few hours listening to the radio in horror as we slowly got the details about everything else that transpired that day. I thought about each and every one of my friends who worked in NYC and worried that each of them was safe….I was feeling helpless, confused, in shock, scared, frustrated……I still feel that way today.

    As my friends arrived home through the night I heard their horror stories about their experiences of walking (sometimes barefoot) through debris…seeing things they never expected to see in their life…in a state of shock from NYC to NJ over bridges, trying to find a way back home to their families….

    I went for an interview a couple weeks before 9/11 at the same location my friend took the job at (Deutche Bank) and I didn’t get the job. I believe it was for a reason that I wasn’t there in NYC that day.

  • Jen

    PS: Sorry it was such a long comment!

  • i was in class in wet palm beach… i will never forget that day,, or the days that followed.. i have never in my life,, before or after that day felt an inkling toward patriotism… i will admit,, my feeling of patriotism has disseminated,, but the tragedy itself will forever remain etched in my memory……

  • I was in Utah on business. The morning of 9/11 as I was walking to the meeting room I passed the workout center and noticed several people standing around the TV. At that time, no one really knew what was happening, only that a plane had hit a building.

    Today, thoughts and prayers.

  • Meleah

    Jen R:
    Do NOT apologize for leaving a long comment. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your story so openly and honestly with me and all of us here in the comments today. You rock. What a horrible experience for you.


    Yanno. I was never patriotic before 9-11, but I sure did jump on the ‘Flag-Flying “I’m An American” Bandwagon’ afterwards. That, of course, was because I did not know what else to do with myself after these tragic events.

    Yes. Today is for thoughts and prayers.

  • Jen

    Check out the 9/11 tribute video on heather’s blog…very moving: http://oneshotbeyond.wordpress.com/2008/09/11/9-11-2001/#comment-664

    And I posted a few photos I took of the WTC as a child: http://jenrinaldiphotography.wordpress.com/2008/09/11/7-years/

  • 911 is not easy to forget when so many families living nearby us lost members of their family on Flight 11 from Boston. For us, it is a day we will never forget.

  • I was driving to work when I heard it on the radio. There was no tv at the office, so we listened to the radio all day. I don’t do any different or special on this date, I just remember. I can’t think about it too long before I get teary eyed.

  • Meleah

    Jen R:
    Thanks woman.

    Miss Moneypenny:
    Here Here

    Employee No 3699:
    I always CRY on this day.

  • Thank you for this post, Meleah.

    I remember I was getting ready for work and my best friend called me at 7:30 a.m. Pacific Time and told me to turn on the TV. I turned it and saw the second plane crash into the second tower. I literally fell down onto the floor crying.

    I immediately hung up the phone and called The Hubby. He was on BART just going into the tunnel under the SF Bay. He cut out after he said, “Everybody’s cell phone is ringing. What’s going on…” I had to wait 15 minutes until he was out of the tunnel and then we started relaying the information we were hearing in bits and pieces.

    He came home a few hours later. I never even went in to work. I just sat glued to the television all day long. Sept. 11 is also our wedding anniversary but that day was terrible. We didn’t even really celebrate.

    I didn’t know anyone personally who lost their lives on that day, but it felt like my heart was being wrenched out of my chest to hear the stories of those who died. I will never forget, ever.

  • 2,500 miles away barely settling down at the office in Nogales Sonora Mexico… co-worker friend comes storming in with the news of the first hit and immediately everyone jumps onto the internet. By then the networks are swamped – response dismally slow, details on broadcast TV sketchy, confusing, immaterial… second hit and all US based personnel gets recalled to the Nogales Arizona warehouse, I was one of those left in charge of the plant which basically that day nor the following week did much.

    After the airplane passengers and building dwellers, my first thoughts went for the firefighters I knew were already dispatched to the location. To this day, every time I climb the service stairs on my building (or any other hi-rise) I can’t but recall their last alarm and run upstairs focused at only one thing…

    True heros.

  • I remember looking at the TV & just not comprehending what I was seeing…it was so surreal….then the other jet slammed into the Tower & OMG….I didn’t move from the TV for days.
    And I STILL can’t comprehend it. Never will.

  • Meleah

    I cant even with your anniversary being on THIS day.
    I wont ever forget that day either.

    Yes. There were true heroes…. The men & women who ran into the burning WTC to save other peoples lives still amazes me.

    Worst. Day. Ever.

  • I was in Ocean City New Jersey (against my wishes).. The whole place shut down after that day. Now? I’m wondering how a muslim is running for president seven years later.

  • Meleah what beautiful post. As a Canadian I can only say that we wept with you. I still remember the exact moment I heard… it’s a memory that will never leave me.

  • God Bless You for every fact you wrote. I’m so happy another blogger used her voice to REMEMBER today. Blessings, Whitney

  • OMG, we are so busy here in Houston preparing for this hurricane that will be hitting us tomorrow that I totally forgot what day it was, and I haven’t forgotten since it first happened. If this hurricane is as bad as they are saying, I will have even more bad memories of this time of year. I had just dropped my kids at school, was listening to the morning news on the radio and they announced what had happened. I drove straight home and turned on the TV and sat mesmerized for the next week, glued to the TV, trying to get information. Every time I see the date 9/11 I flashback to that day, except for today. Have spent my day stocking up on batteries, cleaning the yard of anything that could possibly fly in the wind and doing all sorts of other tasks so that I can know I did everything possible to prepare for the worst. Wish me luck!

  • standing in my living room getting ready to head out for a couple interviews for a college internship. watching in disbelief at the seemingly horrible accident that had just taken place. second plane hits and everything changes instantly. i went to the interview, and all of the employees were huddled around a small screen. left the office and called my wife. the tower just fell, she said. i couldn’t even understand what she meant. how much of it, i asked. all of it, she said. not until i saw the pictures did it begin to sink in.

    i knew no one that died that day, but it never felt like it.

  • Still remember the horror I had when I watched the TV.
    I will never ever forget that.

  • I remember I was at my buddy’s house when I heard the news. I was shocked into disbelief. It’s not something I will forget easily. Lots of innocent lives were wasted because of some really stupid people!

    May they all rest in peace.

  • A terrible day. I still get a lump in my throat every time I think about it. I can’t bear to think about the people who died so senselessly. I also can’t bear to think of their families forced to cope with such grief. May they all find peace.

  • Meleah

    Thank you for those kind words.

    You have your hands full with IKE on the way. My god, please stay safe.
    Good luck.

    Thank you for sharing your story. Welcome to my blog.

    You’re Welcome. It had to be done.
    (Hope to see you around here again.)

    I know. It was like a movie. It was so unreal. The scariest part was not knowing when IT would end. Or if IT would end.

    Total Psychos.

    I always think about the families. I always think about the kids whose parents went to work and never came home. And it still makes me sick to my stomach.


    DRIVING , off to work on that day passing unionbeach waterfront ,(right by patty,s house) saw people standing by the railings along the waterfront,mind you it is not out of the norm for people to be standing there looking out at the bay . That day was a beautiful morning , not a cloud in thr sky . Had just picked up one of my workers, bernie. As we passed by number of people seamed strange so we stopped to see what was going on . Saw a friend of mine and said whtats up . My mind just went numb , switched from cd player to the radoo , Howard stern(remember him ) was on radio saying planes flew into trade center. DUMFOUNDED WE ALL SAT THERE AND WATCH AS THE TOWERS FELL. Nobody saying much , seemed surreal . Then out of nowhere two f-14 fighters ripped across the bay towards newyork. We all snapped out of the fog we were in and a shout out to arms was heard WAR!!!!! We all knew from that point on our lives and children,s lives will never be the same . The rest of the day spent watching news coverage , trying to find out who and why . 7 YEARS LATER I STILL HAVE QUESTIONS WITH NO ANSWERS. So as we remember that day and as our memories fade of the horror of watching people jump to ther deaths. Horrible reflections of that shall never fade and until my dying day I will take this day and remember the loss of life but also my life of innoccence lost on that day . For know many of us have to send our sons and daughters to a land far away so we can stay in a land of Freedom FREEDOM FOR ALL . In closing my thoughts are to the families who lost loved ones on that day and to the many who are still losing loved ones ( rescue workers ect ect) remembering you all PEACE EDDIE

  • Meleah

    OH EDDIE!!

    Thank you for stopping by my blog!
    And REALLY thank you for sharing THAT STORY with me.

    You. Rule.

  • I checked on friends and made sure everyone I knew in the area had gotten out, which took most of the day.

  • Ya know, I recently was made the villain by a group to whom I was explaining this: I wish, I truly, truly wish that the attacks of September 11th were the “main event,” so to speak, of my lifetime. All I meant to say is that, sadly, the events of that day have been overshadowed by arguably the most damaging administration in US history. That is what will be remembered by my generation and generations to come. The rash response, the poorly planned & executed war, the total loss of international relationships, etc… Instead, I wish (and have wished for years now) that my lifetime could be dominated by that one singular day, after which we truly examined the real causes of such intense anti-American fervor and took more appropriate steps.

    But, you know what “they” (always the ambiguous they) say, If ifs and buts were candy and nuts, we’d all have a merry Christmas.

    I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when each tower was hit, when the news of the Pentagon hit the airwaves, and every other significant moment that’s led us to where we are today; I simply cannot dwell on it, else my blood begins to boil with frustration.

  • Eva

    Like Random Chick, I was in the SF Bay area, getting ready for work. My best friend called me and told me to turn on the TV. And we sat on the phone together as the second plane hit, watching in horror and crying for those who were suffering. I was told to come in to work regardless, and once arriving, was notified that the building across from ours in downtown SF Financial District had just received a bomb threat and we were evacuating. So I went back across the bay, back home, and my best friend and I sat glued to the TV. I called everyone I loved to tell them that I loved them. And my best friend and I went for a long walk, shocked at how quiet the world was that day on the West Coast with grounded airplanes and nothing flying overhead. To this day, what hurts most in my heart is the memory of stories of people jumping out of the buildings, seemingly out of other options. What helps heal my heart is the memory that nine months later there was a mini baby boom that resulted from everyone’s need to love each other that week.

  • Meleah

    I was a MESS since we had no phone service and even cell phones weren’t working. It was days before I knew everyone in my family and my friends were safe.

    The Rev:
    My blood always boils on this day.

    I will have the images of the people jumping out of the burning buildings tattooed to my brain.

  • It’s still hard to get your mind around, isn’t it? I was at ESPN and we were trying to keep CH 7 ABC on the air because their antenna was on top of one of the buildings. There were TVs everywhere so I could not hid from it. I felt sick. You could see the buildings tilting. I told my friends who weren’t around TVs that I thought one of them might collapse. A half hour later they both did. Awful. I was depressed and freaked out for weeks.

    And there are still idiots out there who thin specially placed explosives brought down the towers because, you know, giant plans crashing into buildings can’t be the cause.

    Awful day. Never want to see another one like it.

  • Meleah

    Awful day. Never want to see another one like it.



    Hey you , No problem ,sorry for all the typeoohs!! not as good of a writer of your caliber . Speaking of wich . We need to get together ,summer has come to an end and I know patty wanted to get together . One time a year is not enough . hope everything is well with you (AND YOUR MAC HA HA ) . peace EDDIE

  • Meleah

    Aw. That was sweet of you!
    And YES we do all need to get togther ASAP!

    PS: Feel free to drop by and comment ANYTIME.

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