Remembering 9/11

Raising the Flag at Ground Zero taken by Thomas E. Franklin of The Bergen Record (NJ). The picture shows three New York City firefighters raising the American flag at Ground Zero of the World Trade Center, following the September 11 attacks. The firefighters pictured were Brooklyn-based firefighters George Johnson of Rockaway Beach, Dan McWilliams of Long Island (both from Ladder 157), and Billy Eisengrein of Staten Island (Rescue 2). The flag came from the yacht Star of America, owned by Shirley Dreifus and her late husband Spiros E. Kopelakis, of the Majestic Star, which was docked in the yacht basin in the Hudson River at the World Financial Center. McWilliams cut the yardarm off of the yacht with a K-Saw and then took the flag and its pole from the yacht to an evacuation area on the northwest side of the site. They found a pole about 20 feet off the ground.

For a better understanding of what happened on September 11, 2001 (9/11) and to learn the stories of those who were killed and of the survivors, read a few survivor stories and listen to firefighters’ AUDIO under “Resources” below.

Then read the “Background” and check out the other links and videos under “Resources.”

Watch two news reports as it happened that morning:

The World Trade Center site in New York City, was referred to as “Ground Zero” or “the Pile” immediately after the September 11 attacks.

Watch a rare video from Ground Zero on 9/11:

The Pentagon –  live audio from Air Traffic Control and 911 First Responders:

Shanksville, Pennsylvania: Phone calls from passengers and crew on Flight 93.


NOTE TO STUDENTS: Before answering the following questions, read the “Background” and look through the “Resources” below.

1. Answer the following questions about 9/11:
a) Who was President on 9/11?
b) Who was the mayor of New York City on 9/11?
c) What three locations were the terrorists targeting?
d) How many planes were hijacked on 9/11? What were their flight numbers?
e) Where and when did each plane crash? (time, place and flight number)
f) Who were the terrorists? (religious ideology, terror group and nationality)
g) How many people were killed on 9/11?

2. How was the hijacking of Flight 93 different from those of Flt. 77 (Pentagon) and Flights 11 and 175 (World Trade Center)?

3. What do you know about what actually happened on September 11, 2001 as a result of the actions of al Qaeda terrorists? Scroll down to read “Background” below, then watch the videos and visit some of the links under “Resources” to gain an understanding of what people experienced that day.
List 2-3 things you did not already know about 9/11 from this information that you think is important for all Americans to know.
(For a timeline of what happened that day, go to

4. Wikipedia states “On a typical weekday 50,000 people worked in the towers with another 200,000 passing through as visitors.” Many people believe that God’s mercy spared them – and there were many stories of miracles that day. What do you think?

5. Ask a parent and a grandparent:
a) What do you remember about 9/11?
b) What do you think I should know about 9/11?

6. a) Some people say we need to move past 9/11 and look to the future. Others say “never forget” – and that this was an attack on all Americans, not just those who were killed (and their family and friends who lost loved-ones).

After watching the videos and reading more about 9/11, what do you think? Explain your answer.
b) Ask a parent the same question.

Describe the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993.


September 11, 2001 (9/11):

  • The September 11 attacks (also referred to as 9/11) were a series of four suicide attacks committed by Muslim extremists against United States civilians on September 11, 2001, coordinated to strike the areas of New York City and Washington, D.C.
  • On that Tuesday morning, 19 terrorists from the Islamist militant group al-Qaeda hijacked four passenger jets; 15 of the terrorists were citizens of Saudi Arabia, 2 were  from UAE, one from Lebanon and one from Egypt.

Early on the morning of September 11, 2001, 19 hijackers took control of four commercial airliners (two Boeing 757 and two Boeing 767) en route to California (three headed to LAX in Los Angeles and one to SFO in San Francisco) after takeoffs from Logan International Airport in Boston, Massachusetts; Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, New Jersey; and Washington Dulles International Airport in Virginia. Large planes with long flights were selected for hijacking because they would be heavily fueled.

The four flights were:

  • American Airlines Flight 11 departed Logan Airport at 7:59 a.m. en route to Los Angeles with a crew of 11 and 76 passengers, not including five hijackers. The hijackers flew the plane into the northern facade of the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City at 8:46 a.m.
  • United Airlines Flight 175 departed Logan Airport at 8:14 a.m. en route to Los Angeles with a crew of nine and 51 passengers, not including five hijackers. The hijackers flew the plane into the southern facade of the South Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City at 9:03 a.m.
  • American Airlines Flight 77 departed Washington Dulles International Airport at 8:20 a.m. en route to Los Angeles with a crew of six and 53 passengers, not including five hijackers. The hijackers flew the plane into the western facade of the Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia, at 9:37 a.m.
  • United Airlines Flight 93 departed Newark International Airport at 8:42 am en route to San Francisco, with a crew of seven and 33 passengers, not including four hijackers. As passengers attempted to fight back against the hijackers, the aircraft crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, at 10:03 a.m.
  • The hijackers intentionally piloted two of those planes, American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175, into the North and South towers of the World Trade Center complex in New York City; both towers collapsed within two hours. (The South Tower collapsed at 9:59 am; the North Tower collapsed at 10:28 am.)
  • The hijackers also intentionally crashed American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, and intended to pilot the fourth hijacked jet, United Airlines Flight 93, into the United States Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.; however, the plane crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania after its passengers attempted to take control of the jet from the hijackers.
  • Nearly 3,000 people died in these attacks, including the 246 civilians and 19 hijackers aboard the four planes.
  • Al-Qaeda and its leader Osama bin Laden cited U.S. support of Israel, the presence of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia, and sanctions against Iraq as motives for the attacks.
  • The United States responded to the attacks by launching the War on Terror and invading Afghanistan to depose the Taliban, which had harbored al-Qaeda.
  • In May 2011, after years at large, bin Laden was located and killed. (from wikipedia)

NYC first responder deaths:  A total of 411 emergency workers died as they tried to rescue people and fight fires

  • The New York City Fire Department (FDNY) lost 340 firefighters, a chaplain and 2 paramedics.
  • The New York City Police Department (NYPD) lost 23 officers.
  • The Port Authority Police Department lost 37 officers.
  • Eight emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics from private emergency medical services units were killed.

At least 200 people fell or jumped to their deaths from the burning towers (as exemplified in the photograph The Falling Man), landing on the streets and rooftops of adjacent buildings hundreds of feet below.  Watch a video on The Falling Man photo with photojournalist Richard Drew:

What do you know about the FIRST World Trade Center terrorist attack in 1993?

  • On February 26, 1993, Islamic terrorists detonated a truck bomb below the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City.
  • The 1,336 pound device was intended to send the North Tower (Tower 1) crashing into the South Tower (Tower 2), bringing both towers down and killing tens of thousands of people.
  • It failed to do so but killed six people and injured more than a thousand.

Watch a report from 2013, the 20th Anniversary of the first bombing of the World Trade Center:

Watch footage from the 1993 terrorist attack:


Watch ‘9/11: The Day That Shook the World

Read additional articles:

See the videos below these links:

  • For a timeline of what happened that day, go to (listen to audio from that day including American Airlines flight attendant Betty Ann Ong, on Flight 11, reporting a possible hijacking).
  • Visit the Shanksville, PA Memorial website at: (run by the National Park Service) and
  • Read “Phone Calls from the Passengers and Crew of Flight 93
  • Visit the Pentagon Memorial website at
  • Visit the New York 9/11 Memorial Museum Memorial Guide.
  • The Staten Island Advance page about those who died from Staten Island.
  • Visit the NYPD Facebook page.
  • To read individual tributes to those killed on 9/11, go to
  • On Saturday, September 11, at Ground Zero in New York City, family members will read the names of loved ones they lost in the World Trade Center attack. There will be six moments of silence, acknowledging when each of the towers was struck, when each fell and the times corresponding to the attack on the Pentagon and the crash of Flight 93.  The program will commence at 8:30 a.m. ET, and the first moment of silence will be observed at 8:46 a.m. The commemoration is expected to conclude at about 1 p.m. Then, at sundown, the annual Tribute in Light will illuminate the sky above Ground Zero.
    Watch a live broadcast of the commemoration ceremony in New York City, or at Shanksville and at the Pentagon on Sept. 11 – possibly at

On Sept. 11, 2002, President Bush proclaimed Sept 11th be observed as ‘Patriot Day’.

In 2009 President Obama renamed it ‘Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance’.

In 2017, 2018 and 2019, President Donald Trump proclaimed September 8–10 as National Days of Prayer and Remembrance, and proclaimed September 11 as Patriot Day.
Psalm 46

Inside 7 World Trade Center Moments Before Collapse:

9/11 Audiotape of firefighters last moments:

Inside the lobby of Tower 1 at the World Trade Center just before it collapsed:

A September, 2011 [10 years later] ABC15 Arizona news report of a 9/11 video compiled by Rutgers University. ABC states “it is the most comprehensive collection of air traffic control recordings sends chilling reminders of the confusion, and heroism.”

Did you know? The pre-trial hearings of al-Qaeda’s 9/11 planner Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (who was captured on March 1, 2003, in Pakistan) and his four co-defendants only resumed a few days ago. No date for the actual trial has been set. Watch videos under a 2018 article “9/11 terrorists still haven’t come to trial

Mohammed (who was captured on March 1, 2003, in Pakistan) confessed to FBI agents to a role in many of the most significant terrorist plots over the last 20 years but President Obama, VP Kamala Harris and many other Democrats oppose the use of his confessions in court because enhanced interrogation methods were used. Mohammed is the uncle of Ramzi Yousef, who was convicted on terrorism charges for his part in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and Ammar Al Baluchi, who is accused of involvement in multiple terror plots.  What do you think of Mr. Mitchell’s interviews?

On May 2, 2011, Navy SEAL Team 6 killed Osama bin Laden (founder of al-Qaeda) during a raid on his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

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