By Las Vegas Tribune Staff
On September 11, 2001 a total of 2,996 people were killed during the terrorist attacks, including the 19 terrorists’ hijackers from Saudi Arabia aboard four airplanes. Citizens of 78 countries lost their lives in New York, Washington DC, and Pennsylvania.
On that fatal day of September 11, 2001, an American Airlines Boeing 767 loaded with 20,000 gallons of jet fuel crashed into the 80th floor of the north tower of the World Trade Center in New York City, instantly killing hundreds of people and trapping hundreds more on higher floors.
Eighteen minutes after the American Airlines plane hit a United Airlines Boeing 767, Flight 175 appeared out of the sky, turned toward the World Trade Center and sliced into the south tower near the 60th floor.
At the World Trade Center, 2,763 people died after the two planes slammed into the twin towers, including 343 firefighters and paramedics, 23 New York City police officers and 37 Port Authority police officers.
As events were unfolding in New York, American Airlines Flight 77 circled over downtown Washington DC, before crashing into the west side of the Pentagon military headquarters at 9:45 a.m.
Jet fuel from the Boeing 757 caused a devastating inferno that led to the structural collapse of a portion of the giant concrete building, which is the headquarters of the U.S. Department of Defense. 189 people were killed in the Pentagon including the 64 passengers in American Airlines Flight 77, the airliner that struck the building.
A fourth California-bound plane — United Airlines Flight 93, was hijacked 40 minutes after leaving Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey. Passengers on board learned of events in New York and Washington via cell phone and Airfone calls to the ground.
Knowing that the aircraft was not returning to an airport as the hijackers claimed, a group of passengers and flight attendants planned an insurrection.
The passengers fought the four hijackers. The plane then flipped over and sped toward the ground at upwards of 500 miles per hour, crashing in a rural field near Shanksville in western Pennsylvania at 10:10 a.m. All 44 people aboard were killed.
Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind the September 11 attacks, was finally tracked down and killed by U.S. forces at a hideout in Abbottabad, Pakistan on May 2, 2011.
On December 18, 2001, Congress approved naming September 11 “Patriot Day” to commemorate the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. In 2009, Congress named September 11 a National Day of Service and Remembrance. September 11, a date we will never forget!
By Las Vegas Tribune Staff