September 11, 2001 is a day that we will always remember as one of the most tragic days in American history as four airliners were hijacked by nineteen terrorists to carry out the deadliest terror attack in the United States. A total of 2,977 victims lost their lives on that day at the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon in Washington, and in Somerset County, PA.
As we cast our minds back to events that unfolded and remember the thousands of people who perished and the thousands more who were injured on that day, may we pause to reflect on how the nation and the world came together in the days following these events in support of each other. Each year after on 9/11 people pause to reflect on the aftermath following the tragic events of the day. This year remembrance events may look different as we pay our respects virtually.
7:59 a.m.: American Airlines Flight 11 departs Boston on a flight to Los Angeles. 11 crew members, 76 passengers and 5 hijackers were on board.
8:15 a.m.: United Airlines Flight 175 departs Boston also heading to Los Angeles. 9 crew members, 51 passengers and 5 hijackers were on board.
8:19 a.m.: A flight attendant aboard Flight 11 alerts ground personnel that the plane has been hijacked.
8:20 a.m.: American Airlines Flight 77 departs Washington Dulles International Airport, also heading to Los Angeles. 6 crew members, 53 passengers and 5 hijackers were on board.
8:24 a.m.: A hijacker on Flight 11 broadcasts a message to air traffic control, “We have some planes. Just stay quiet, and you will be okay.”
8:37 a.m.: Boston Air Traffic Control alerts the U.S. Air Force’s Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS). The Air National Guard is mobilized to follow Flight 11.
8:42 a.m.: United Flight 93 departs Newark International Airport heading for San Francisco. 7 crew members, 33 passengers and 4 hijackers were on board.
8:46 a.m.: Flight 11 crashes into the World Trade Center North Tower.
8:50 a.m.: While visiting and elementary school in Sarasota, Florida, President George W. Bush is advised that a plane hit the World Trade Center.
8:52 a.m.: A flight attendant on Flight 175 reports to the airline that the plane has been hijacked.
9:03 a.m.: Flight 175 crashes into the World Trade Center South Tower.
9:05 a.m.: President Bush is informed by White House chief of staff Andrew Card that the South Tower was hit and that “American is under attack.”
9:12 a.m.: Flight attendant Renee A. May, on Flight 77, calls her mother to tell her the plane has been hijacked. Her mother notified American Airlines.
9:29 a.m.: President Bush makes his first public statements about the attacks, in front of an audience of about 200 teachers and students at the elementary school. He states that he will be going back to Washington. “Today, we’ve had a national tragedy,” he starts. “Two airplanes. have crashed. into the World Trade Center. in an apparent terrorist attack on our country,” and leads a moment of silence.
9:37 a.m.: Flight 77 crashes into the Pentagon.
9:42 a.m.: The Federal Aviation Administration grounds all flights by ordering civilian planes to land and halting departures.
9:59 a.m.: The World Trade Center South Tower collapses.
10:03 a.m.: Flight 93 crashed in Shanksville, PA after the cockpit is reached by passengers and crew in an attempt to thwart the hijacking.
10:28 a.m.: The World Trade Center North Tower collapses.
12:16 p.m.: The last flight in U.S. airspace lands as the Federal Aviation Administration closes U.S. airspace.
6:54 p.m.: U.S. President George W. Bush arrives at the White House in Washington, D.C.
8:30 p.m.: President Bush addresses the nation from the White House.
“The search is under way for those who are behind these evil acts. I’ve directed the full resources of our intelligence and law enforcement communities to find those responsible and to bring them to justice. We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.”
—U.S. President George W. Bush
As we learn about and remember the tragic loss and consequences on our lives, let us never forget how we came together, supported each other, and ultimately began the healing process.
You can learn more about the events by visiting the 9/11 Memorial & Museum online which offers an interactive museum experience, virtual tours, first person stories, and activities you can complete at home.
Written by Paul Duty, Chief Instructor, Gleim Aviation