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The Tenth Anniversary of 911

Updated on September 7, 2011

For those of us old enough to be reading this article, we all remember where we were that day the 11th of September, 2001. It wasn't the first time terrorists had attacked on U.S. soil, but it was by far the biggest attack on American soil by terrorists. If you hadn't been paying much attention to the spread of terrorism or the world's interactions with the Middle East - you were about to become very familiar with all of it very quickly. Unfortunately, through the media...

These are the basic facts of what happened as reported at (I'll include the link at the end, more detailed information is available there)


Only a brief summary of 9-11 is presented here, as massive volumes of more in-depth material are available on the World Wide Web and in video and paper formats.


Tuesday, 11 September 2001 was a cloudless, bright late summer day in the eastern United States. It was a week after Labor Day, the traditional end of the summer travel and vacation season, and the beginning of American football season, school and thoughts of autumn.

The day was as routine as any in New York, New York and Washington, D.C. Before ordinary passenger jets became fiery menaces, people in the World Trade Center and Pentagon were working at personal computers, typing letters or reading e-mail, speaking on the phone or processing paperwork. None of the civilians seemed to know what was to happen.

At 5:30 a.m., several men flew on a commuter jet from Portland, Maine, to Logan International Airport in Boston. They boarded two Boeing 767s, American Airlines (AAL) Flight 11, and United Airlines (UAL) Flight 175. Both jets were supposed to arrive in Los Angeles.

According to investigations and eyewitnesses accounts later intercepted from the planes while in flight, these men carried small knives and box cutters, tools more often used for opening packages.

Other men, similarly armed, traveled to Newark International Airport to take UAL Flight 93 at 8:42 a.m. to San Francisco, and Washington Dulles Airport to board AAL Flight 77 for 8:20 a.m. departure to Los Angeles.

All of the jets were scheduled for transcontinental flights and carried an average of 20,000 gallons of aviation fuel. This was probably one of the major reasons they were selected, as the amount of fuel, plus impact into a building, added up to a lethal bomb.


8:42 a.m. -- AAL Flight 11 hits 1 World Trade Center, also known as the north tower and distinctive for its huge television antenna.

9:03 a.m. a.m. -- UAL Flight 175 strikes 2 World World Trade Center (south tower).

9:25 a.m. -- The Federal Aviation Administration orders a shutdown of all airports nationwide.

9:40 a.m. --AAL Flight 77 crashes into the west face of the Pentagon.

10:05 a.m. -- WTC 2 collapses

10:10 a.m. -- Part of the Pentagon collapses

10:29 a.m. -- WTC 1 collapses

10:40 a.m. -- UAL Flight 93 crashes near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Its crash is attributed in part to several passengers' decision to attack the hijackers.

5:20 p.m. -- WTC 7 collapses. It apparently was weakened by falling debris from the Twin Towers and the conbustion of large tanks of diesel fuel stored on the premises.

8:30 p.m. -- President George W. Bush addresses citizens in a televised Oval Office speech.

Death Toll

Just over 3,000 were killed in the three attacks. Here is a breakdown.

World Trade Center: Total, 2,830 people. Most of these victims were civilians on the WTC premises. This figure also includes 343 New York firefighters; 23 New York city police officers; 37 Port Authority police officers; 92 persons on AAL Flight 11; and 65 people on UAL Flight 175.
Pentagon: 125 in building; 64 on AAL Flight 77
Shanksville, Pennsylvania: 44 on UAL Flight 93

The Tenth Anniversary

I'm writing this article because I'm angry inside. I know people don't forget the anniversary, after all, its become a National Day of Rememberance - Patriot Day.

I'm just sick in my heart of hearing all of the noise on the street (I don't really care who it is talking but they are fellow Americans) about how this shouldn't have caused a war, we shouldn't have gone into Iraq, how so many have died over this, and this list goes on and on and on. I know people, all of us, are entitled to opinions and freedom of speech - I'm tired of all of the Bush jokes, I'm tired of the jokes about the money spent on Homeland Security, I'm tired of the criticism about the mistakes we made in reacting to this - and all by people who aren't in government and don't do a damn thing but bitch and vote. Not to minimize voting, of course it's a great way to effect change and elect leaders who we believe will carry our issues to the front lines, but there are other ways to bring about change and get your hands dirty than just complaining or throwing up a sign and screaming louder.What I'm really saying is...why must everything be so divided, why all the blaming, why all the constant bashing and criticism. And when one hears it from another - it just gets amplified and shouted out louder from the rooftops. I just want to SEE people treat each other better; democrats, republicans, liberals, whatever groups everyone thinks they fit into or none at all. RESPECT each other's differences and work together for the good of all.

Now I think this is the first column about anything political or governmental I've ever written - but I am very patriotic. And I'm aware. I know that the rest of the world has mixed opinions about us, some laugh at the US and think we're idiots whether they look at our government or how divided we are internally. Some say we can't even stand together on the inside, we fight against ourselves, so how can we expect to be taken seriously? Some countries have great respect for our nation and see that we are strong. Lately, I don't know what they think of us.

We can't seem to agree on anything. Budget, of course not. Homeland one can agree because there are two sides of the coin. Medical/Jobs/Social Security, huge mess. And who's to blame? Even bigger debate. But a debate is healthy; the name calling, bullying, blame game, passing the buck, shouting, playground antics, all of the drama distracting everyone - isn't going to solve the problem. How many have written actual plans or taken the time to give ideas to your congressmen or senators about these problems? Good for you if you have!

As for the people who are the workhorses in our country - the military, law enforcement, elected leaders, medical personnel, firefighters, all our community organizations who sacrifice themselves for our well being, the homeland security, government civilian personnel, contractors, everyone based here or overseas - how about cutting them a break too.

I get sick to my stomach when I hear of some troops coming back from Iraq/Afghanistan in a coffin, and on the day of his/her funeral and their mourning family and friends are greeted at the cemetery by picketers screaming and interrupting the service. This is a funeral, which is this family's last day to mourn the untimely loss of their son or daughter. Show some respect people. It is not this soldier's fault that the government is doing something you don't like - and you are taking it out on the most vulnerable of your fellow Americans at their weakest point. I am so ashamed of my fellow citizens who don't know the proper way to take their arguements to the right people.

The whole gist of our Nation's reaction to 911 is that hindsight is 20/20. Things could have been done differently, yes. But we, as a nation, never dealt with anything of this magnitude before. And we are relatively still a young (and stupid sometimes) country. We could have made better decisions on a lot of things. But they could have been worse too. I think we did pretty good. Whose idea was it to get the county mobilized to give blood as soon as it happened? We have made some good decisions too. And we have had some really strong changes in the area of national and homeland security. I am so tired of people whining about tighter security at airports and ports in general being a nuisance on their pleasure travel. Look at these videos and think if a little tighter security or stronger intelligence would have been a nuisance if any of these people had known beforehand on September 11th 2001.

I wish we could trust the people we put in positions of government oversight. I wish people would let other people do their jobs. And I wish the world wasn't so filled with power mongers, and religious fanatics, and abusers. I wish, I wish, I wish...I'm sensible enough to know that wishing doesn't do anything - but I act on what I can and don't sit around and just complain and blame when I can't.

But this whole 911 Anniversary reminds me that on that day, we did all stand together as a nation. For one day. On that one day we identified ourselves as Americans and didn't break ourselves down into ethnic origins, religious groups and other cliques. We were just Americans.

We aren't going to be happy with every decision our government makes - hell, lately I'm not happy with most of them - but I'm still an American, and stand behind the laws of this country and the Constitution and raise my flag. I'm proud of our military, and thank them for their sacrifice for our freedom. They give their lives in the defense of this nation - and I have to listen to the criticism of all the leaders and troops and I'm ashamed. This comes from people who have never served and wouldn't know what its like to give your life for a cause let alone another human being.

I understand that we all have the freedom of speech - that's why I can write this column. In fact that is precisely why I decided to write this column. I have sat quietly and listened to the complaining and moaning about things that don't mean much when push comes to shove. I'm talking about politicians and government as well as people like you and me. I just don't understand why we don't just take care of the important issues, clean up our act, cut spending, take a little responsibility for ourselves and those we love.

Have pride in ourselves and our nation. It isn't hard. I remain proud to be part of our United, not divided, United States of America. I know there are a lot of you who stand with me, and I know there are many who think I sound silly. You know what, its your opinion - you have a right to it. Brightest Blessings and thanks for giving me my fifteen minutes.

Ground Zero Memorial and Museum

The 911 Memorial at Ground Zero in New York City will be dedicated on the tenth anniversary on 11 September 2011, and will officially open to the public on September 12th. The Museum is scheduled to open in September of 2012.

The memorial will be located in the footprint of both of the original twin towers. It occupies approximately 8 acres and features two waterfalls with reflecting pools. The link below will take you to the site of page about the Memorial and Museum.

Comments Welcome

I have exercised my freedom of speech in this hub...please feel free to exercise yours. All respectful comments will be approved whether they agree with mine or not...that I promise you. I also will tell you right up front that I'm not one to be baited into political or governmental discussions...I just felt passionate about this one. This is my opinion, I have no need or want to debate are entitled to your own opinion. I do my part, and I know the work I do matters, that's good enough for me. I wish you all the brightest of blessings and I thank all of you who serve military, civilian, law enforcement, and in every capacity...


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    • Erin LeFey profile imageAUTHOR

      Erin LeFey 

      7 years ago from Maryland

      Poetvix, thanks so much for commenting. I didn't expect everyone to agree with everything. Actually I was pretty surprised to get the positive reaction to this hub that I did. I guess I should express my opinions more than I do :)

      Thanks very much for the vote of confidence, it means a lot to me personally. Take care, my friend.

    • poetvix profile image


      7 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country.

      Erin, I applaud you. While I don't agree with every single solitary point here, I totally agree with the main premise of get together, stop moaning and pitch in to fix it while showing some appreciation and respect for those who work towards that end every day. There is not a good enough button for the attitude you show here so I had to hit most of them.

    • Erin LeFey profile imageAUTHOR

      Erin LeFey 

      7 years ago from Maryland

      Brightest Blessings my friend

    • CMCastro profile image

      Christina M. Castro 

      7 years ago from Baltimore,MD USA

      It is difficult to recap details of a tragedy, but I think it is only how some people can heal to relive in their minds piece by piece the parts. There is a lesson to learned from the attack. Life goes on, but the spiritual ears and eyes always have to be left open as well as the physical, because evil motives in some hearts are undetected. Two kingdoms, heaven and hell will always be warring. What one can do is to know how to put a spiritual armor on (Ephesians 6), and somehow the peace of mind will come knowing we don't fight flesh and blood but principalities out there. Thanks, Erin, for sharing. It keeps my extra eye awake.

    • Erin LeFey profile imageAUTHOR

      Erin LeFey 

      7 years ago from Maryland

      moneycop, thanks for reading and commenting.

    • moneycop profile image


      7 years ago from JABALPUR

      ENJOYED THE full and loving feeling prevailing in the occasion in both...

    • Erin LeFey profile imageAUTHOR

      Erin LeFey 

      7 years ago from Maryland

      Maralexa, Thanks so much for reading and commenting. It's wonderful to know our Canadian friends stand with us, as they always have (sharing the same continent) - I'm so glad our governments have the relationship they do. Your comments are so warm and respectful, thanks so much.

    • Maralexa profile image

      Marilyn Alexander 

      7 years ago from Vancouver, Canada and San Jose del Cabo, Mexico

      Beautiful Hub! Well written, well said. Although a Canadian, I was so touched by the 911 tragedy and am today so moved by the way my American friends wish to 'celebrate' the 10th anniversary of 911. You bring together the free world with your determined efforts to rebuild from strength and stand together with respectful regard for the fallen and true support for their families.

      You make me (a Canadian) proud to call you (Americans) brothers, sisters, and friends. Thank you Erin.

      with respect and gratitude.

    • Erin LeFey profile imageAUTHOR

      Erin LeFey 

      7 years ago from Maryland

      Hi Prasetio,

      Thanks for visiting. I hope you have a chance to visit here too, and I hope one day there will be an end to terrorism worldwide. Brightest Blessings to you as well, my friend.

    • prasetio30 profile image


      7 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Hi, Erin. This was so beautiful hub, a tribute to a terrific incident in September 11, 2001. I still sad to remind this memories though I am not live in US. I hope I have a chance to visit Ground Zero Memorial and Museum. I hope everything goes well in the future without no blood anymore. God bless you!


    • Erin LeFey profile imageAUTHOR

      Erin LeFey 

      7 years ago from Maryland

      I don't blame you. That one wasn't even designed to damage buildings but obviously to just target people. The senseless violence...when will it end?

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      7 years ago from England

      Hi, yes 7/7 was awful too, not just the underground train stations but the buses too! I still feel a bit nervous when I use the underground trains, especially when I see all the signs that say, mind your bags, keep an eye out for suspicious behaviour, etc, just makes me want to get off!

    • Erin LeFey profile imageAUTHOR

      Erin LeFey 

      7 years ago from Maryland

      Nell, thank you so much for the English perspective. I was hoping you would find your way here! We are so close with our British friends it seems everything impacts us both when it happens to the other. I remember the same horror and shock and sadness as I sat glued to my televisions and the internet at work on the 7th of July in 2005. I couldn't believe the scenes unfolding before my eyes and it brought back the same tears and helplessness I felt on 9/11/2001. We are partners in this great war on terrorism and unfortunately we are also the ones who get stung in retribution.

      Thanks for sharing your memory of that day and your feelings of our reaction. It means a lot. You can't grow from just your own opinion of yourself, you have to see yourself through another's eyes. Take care my friend!

    • Erin LeFey profile imageAUTHOR

      Erin LeFey 

      7 years ago from Maryland

      Barb, I'm so sorry to hear of your loss on 9/11. We all lost a piece of ourselves that day...the veil was lifted for many - time to face the truth, the world is a harsh place and the U.S. wasn't immune to the terrors that were going on all around us. The bubble was shattered for the generation that thought we were untouchable. Its just so sad that the lesson didn't stick and seemed to divide us as a nation more than ever. There are those of us, though, who did stand together, and remain strong and luckily we haven't lost yet. Let's hope and pray its not to late to get this country back on solid ground again. Thanks so much for sharing your story and take care my friend.

    • Erin LeFey profile imageAUTHOR

      Erin LeFey 

      7 years ago from Maryland

      Highvoltagewriter, thanks so much, actually your hub inspired me to write a hub of my own - so thank you! :)

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      7 years ago from England

      Hi, really great article, I was nodding away at everything you said, from this side of the pond we think the Americans did everything right, and respect the way it was handled at the time and afterwards, nobody could watch the whole thing without a tear or lump in their throat especially at the fire services going in to help, and people on the street doing what they could. I remember the day so well, I was at work and my partner phoned me about 8 times keeping me updated, I remember turning to the whole office and saying, listen up, either go to the news website or go and watch the tv in the lounge, something big and bad is happening, they all looked at me with a strange look, and then they started to scuffle their papers and push back their chairs, all heading to watch tv. That was the last of the work done that day, nightmare! my opinion is that nobody out there did anything wrong, your security was exactly what it should be for that time, who knew these evil b.....ds would do this? there were hundreds of English or British caught up in it too, it wasn't just Americans so it was an attack on us too, no country gets everything right, first time, but as long as they get it right later on, its when they don't thats when they need accounting to, cheers nell

    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 

      7 years ago

      Loosing a dear, Innocent Friend to the horrors of 9/11 is still hard to bare. Linda Rosenbaum will be forever young in death... and had she lived who knows what she and all the others Young and Old would have contributed.

      This time in our History changed all our a Perfect World our Politicians would work together for the Good of the people...May we all live to see that day. Thanks for a Wonderful. Poignant and Timely Hub Erin.

    • Highvoltagewriter profile image

      William Benner 

      7 years ago from Savannah GA.

      Wow I did not know that you also wrote a hub about 911's Tenth Anniversary and you did a wonderful job breaking down all the events of that day,I will now link to my hub to yours, God Bless!

    • Erin LeFey profile imageAUTHOR

      Erin LeFey 

      7 years ago from Maryland

      Ruby, your words moved me to tears. I guess that's what happens when I've written my first political hub, and been quite nervous about it and then I realized my sister was standing there with her arm around me. thanks - I was living in Colorado at the time. I was back here on the East Coast visiting my family and we were actually at Ocean City MD at the time, we had just woken up and were getting ready to go to breakfast. We decided to have breakfast in the hotel instead and watched the footage right there in the bar. We drove to the boardwalk and I took pictures all afternoon of all of the businesses that were closed and the flags that were raised - I walked around stunned all afternoon feeling helpless. It took me an extra week to get a flight out of MD back to Colorado. Six months later I went to work for a contractor with the government. But I had to come back to the East Coast. My husband wouldn't move here, so we divorced. I felt whatever I could do to stop this from ever happening again was worth whatever sacrifice I had to make. It seriously changed my life forever. Ten years later, I wouldn't change a thing. I have been on disability for the past year and a half because of this tumor I had to have removed from my spinal cord and haven't been able to return to work yet. I know my job is small and insignificant in this great machine that has developed...but every little bit helps. That's my story.

      Love ya girlfriend.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      7 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I have never been so proud to call you a friend. Your thoughts/words are mine. Why can't we unite, stand together, hold hands, why must we criticize? I remember the day so well. I was watching TV, President Bush was at a school reading a story to children, he was criticized for his delay in acting, how very wrong that was, he, like us, was stunned. My hope is that we all will come together for the good of America. Thank you Erin. GREAT Hub...

    • Erin LeFey profile imageAUTHOR

      Erin LeFey 

      7 years ago from Maryland

      Thanks for sharing your story sholland. It was a day that changed America forever, I just wonder what impact it has had on this generation - its so scary. Thanks so much for your votes and I'm with you, I remember that day so well - it set the course for the rest of my life and career. Blessings.

    • sholland10 profile image

      Susan Holland 

      7 years ago from Southwest Missouri

      My brother was two blocks away from the Trade Centers. I think I remember every minute of that day. I still cry when I think about it. It changed our world forever.

      Great Hub!! Voted up, interesting, and awesome!

    • nu-flowerchild profile image


      7 years ago from Baton Rouge, Louisiana

      Yes, I was 11 when that happened, and that's when my views of the world began to change.

    • Erin LeFey profile imageAUTHOR

      Erin LeFey 

      7 years ago from Maryland

      Thanks for sharing, I'm sure your opinion is vastly different from ours as you were so young on September 11, 2001 and you are very young in this new generation. I would not have wanted to have grown up in my formative years these past ten years. I can only imagine what they have produced. I wish our teachers and other community educators were better paid and the media wasn't used as a babysitter. I'll look for your hub.

    • nu-flowerchild profile image


      7 years ago from Baton Rouge, Louisiana

      I do remember where I was on 9/11 and I will never forget it. Reading this Hub makes me think of the things that I would like to talk about in my own Hub about this upcoming monumental anniversary.

      Right now, there is an upcoming segment on the CBS Evening News that I am about to catch on the Ground Zero memorial, and it is so beautiful. It is indeed a memorial that I want to visit one day to pay my respects again. I have been to Ground Zero before. I visited when I was 15 and I was so silent. Most of the rubble was gone and it was an eerie moment for me. Thanks for sharing.

    • Erin LeFey profile imageAUTHOR

      Erin LeFey 

      7 years ago from Maryland

      Tina, thank you so much for an outsider perspective. I couldn't agree with you more. It seems like the world has lost the very things you mentioned, maybe it isn't just America - but since our media explodes on every little thing and people follow it like the TRUTH rather than do a little research and real learning on their own - it seems whatever goes on tv or in black and white becomes public opinion. Its sad really.

      Thank you so much for coming by. Everyone has been so great today, I thought I would just get beat down.

      Take care.

    • thougtforce profile image

      Christina Lornemark 

      7 years ago from Sweden

      A very interesting hub and you said your point very well! I think everyone is with America on the Anniversary 911. It felt like the world changed forever that day.

      As someone looking at your great and vast nation from the outside I can´t help but wonder what is happening over there. From what I can see on the news it feels very unstable and I agree that there seem to be very divided opinions and so little respect.

      We will all be affected if the American economy becomes worse, so we are many who follow with great interest but also with growing wonder.

      For some reason I think the whole world has gone a bit mad. It isn't just America. I see this constant arguing and lack of respect for other views everywhere. Humans have lost something along the way or maybe we are too focused on the wrong things. We seek power and money at any cost. Humanity, respect, indulgence and empathy are the looser.

      I hope it will change for the better, I know we are many that don´t like the present way. Thanks for a fantastic hub! To me it feels good to read about all this from another angle!


    • Erin LeFey profile imageAUTHOR

      Erin LeFey 

      7 years ago from Maryland

      Thanks Will :)

      Thanks Mom, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree :)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Great article, so proud of you! A lot of us feel this way, but you know how to put it into beautiful words!!

    • WillStarr profile image


      7 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      We were all united for a few days, but then vermin like Jeremiah Wright, Obama's pastor of twenty years, and good friend of the Nation of Islam, started blaming the US for the attacks, with statements like "America's chickens have come home to roost".

      Now it's common to hear America's treacherous left blame America first for the unprovoked attacks of 9-11.

      Excellent hub.

    • Erin LeFey profile imageAUTHOR

      Erin LeFey 

      7 years ago from Maryland

      Happyboomernurse, that's so true. Its sad how it takes such an event to make our nation pull together and now look at us. Does that mean they won?

      I refuse to give up my faith and hope that we can turn this around.

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 

      7 years ago from South Carolina

      Thought provoking, well written hub. Yes, feeling angry and frustrated is easy, coming up with solutions and learning how to effectively debate alternatives is hard. I agree with what you said: "I just want to SEE people treat each other better; democrats, republicans, liberals, whatever groups everyone thinks they fit into or none at all. RESPECT each other's differences and work together for the good of all."

      I too, remember how everyone seemed to pull together immediately after the attack and how many volunteered to help those who had been directly affected by the attack. Ten years later it feels like we have allowed ourselves to be pulled apart further than ever and we are financially weakened, two stated goals of the terrorists who attacked us. Sad, but true.


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