Most of us that are over the age of 50 can remember where we were and what we were doing the day that Kennedy was shot and died a few hours later. Some dates stick in our minds and we never forget the moment we heard the news and the circumstances around us at the time.
The day Kennedy was shot I was a sophomore and was sitting in speech class when it came over the intercom that he had been shot. Then 20 minutes later the principal came back on to tell us he had died. The room was eerily quiet and we were all in shock. A book fell off a desk behind me and it was so loud it sounded like a cannon blast. I bet it was heard at the other end of the second floor of the school.
The 2001 attacks (referred to as 9/11) were a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks by the al-Qaeda against the United States on the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001. The attacks killed 2,996 people, injured over 6,000 others, and caused at least $10 billion in infrastructure and property damage. Additional people died of 9/11-related cancer and respiratory diseases in the months and years following the attacks.
So, where were you and what were were you doing when you heard about the attacks going on in New York and at the pentagon? I bet you can recall that morning like it was yesterday. If people were near a TV, I imagine the day came to a standstill for everyone as we watched to see what would happen next.
Four passenger airliners operated by two major U.S. passenger air carriers all of which departed from airports in the northeastern United States bound for San Francisco and Los Angeles—were hijacked by 19 al-Qaeda terrorists. American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175, were flown into the North and South towers of the World Trade Center complex.
Within an hour and 42 minutes, both 110-story towers collapsed. Debris and the resulting fires caused a partial or complete collapse of all buildings in the World Trade Center complex, including the 47 story World Trade Center tower, as well as significant damage to ten other surrounding structures.
The fourth plane, United Airlines Flight 93, was initially flown toward Washington, D.C., but crashed into a field in Pennsylvania, after its passengers attacked the hijackers. The intended target was not known but was suspected to be the White House or one of the capitol buildings.
9/11 is the single deadliest terrorist attack in human history and the single deadliest incident in the history of the United States with 343 firefighters and 72 law enforcement officers killed. The four attacks killed 2,996 people, injured over 6,000 others, and caused at least $10 billion in infrastructure and property damage.
This incident involved 4 terrorists and 3 different government buildings. The plane of heroes that sacrificed their lives and wouldn’t allow the 4th terrorist to complete his mission by causing the plane to crash into a field instead of the intended target is one most of us will never forget.
So can you remember where you were and what you were doing when the news hit the TV screen or you heard it on the radio? On the morning of September 11, 2001 my husband and I were rushing around to get on the road to Salina. We stopped everything we were doing and stood in front of the little TV on the kitchen cabinet and watched what was happening in New York.
We left the house shortly after the first plane hit but turned on the radio in the car as we left town. We listened as the second plane hit and it became clear it was not an accident but was a terrorist attack. Then we listened as the World Trade Center started to collapse in on itself in a cloud of smoke and flame taking with it the workers that were still in the building.
Like the death of President Kennedy, the 9/11 tragedy is engrained in the memory of anyone that was over 15 years of age on those horrible days. If asked where we were and what we were doing when we learned of his assassination or when the first plane struck the Towers we can answer the question without hesitation. To contact Sandy: [email protected]