9/11/2021 A weekend of painful remembrance.
There may be a billion anecdotes about the 2,977 souls murdered and 6,000 people injured by misguided young Saudi males exploited by Charlatans who hijacked them and a religion too, on 11 September, 2001 in New York city. This weekend all those billion stories are being remembered. The love; the unity in grief; and the shared agony of loss; is all remembered. Now the tears are revisited.
Former President George W. Bush whose handling of the 9/11 crisis is now legendary, said this in Shanksville PA, on 11 September, 2021, 20 years after the day that radically changed his and our lives.
“In the weeks and months following the 9/11 attacks, I was proud to lead an amazing, resilient united people. When it comes to the unity of American people, those days seem distant from our own. Malign force seems at work in our common life that turns every disagreement into an argument and every argument into a clash of cultures. So much of our politics has become a naked appeal to anger, fear and resentment. That leaves us worried about our nation and our future together. I come without explanations or solutions. I can only tell you what I’ve seen.”
President Bush, is deep in America’s hearts for steering America’s broken hearts through a very difficult time. Historians have already begun a generous account of the man in the White House during this period of American history.
When nurse Monique Deslauriers heard the news around 9:00am on 11 September 2001, she called The Sandwich Guy, a family friend whose small business made her mom’s lunches when mom Deslauriers worked in the North Tower of the world Trade Center (WTC). Him and mom Deslauriers commuted from nearby Connecticut every day. He was in the building when she called. He had been delivering a bag full of one of his favourite breakfast sandwiches. He was taking the stairs down. She told him to stay safe and let him go as he explained his cellphone was fading in and out. She then called his family including his daughter (17), the same age as Monique, then, and told her that she had spoken to her dad and that he sounded stressed and was heading out of the building.
He never made it out of the North Tower. Some say he stopped to help someone who got trampled. He never made it out.
There must be a billion stories like that one about the 2,977 people killed and about the lives and remembrances of the 6,000 injured persons on 11 September, 2001.
This weekend, each of those anecdotes is remembered.
The heroic acts of the passengers on Flight 93 and the unselfish commitment to bravery in the face of danger to save the lives they could save, is why we remember certain people.
Many folks on those hijacked airplanes knew they were doomed. Those who were able to use their phone, unselfishly called home and said, “I love you.”
The first responders of New York City were the best of humankind. They still are that way.
Bruce Springsteen, “I’ll see you in my dreams”
The timing of events on September 11, 2001
|7:59 am – American Airlines Flight 11, a Boeing 767 with 92 people aboard, departs Boston’s Logan International Airport with an intended destination of Los Angeles.|
|8:14 am – United Airlines Flight 175, a Boeing 767 with 65 people aboard departs Boston also with a flight plan filed for Los Angeles.|
|8:19 am – Cabin crew members aboard Flight 11 alert colleagues on the ground that Flight 11 has been hijacked. American Airlines officials notify the FBI.|
|8:20 am – American Airlines Flight 77 departs Dulles International Airport, a hub just outside of Washington, D.C. The Boeing 757 is filed for Los Angeles with 64 souls aboard.|
|8:24 am – Hijacker Mohammed Atta makes his first of two unintended VHF radio transmissions from Flight 11 to ground control while fumbling with controls in an effort to communicate with the passengers in the cabin of Flight 11.|
|8:40 am – Air traffic controllers at The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) alerted North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD)’s at its Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) about the suspected hijacking of Flight 11. In response, NEADS scrambled two fighter planes located at Cape Cod’s Otis Air National Guard Base to locate and tail Flight 11; they are not yet in the air when Flight 11 crashes into the North Tower.|
|8:41 am – United Airlines Flight 93, a Boeing 757 with 44 people aboard, takes off from Newark International Airport en route to San Francisco. It had been scheduled to depart at 8:00 am, around the time of the other hijacked flights.|
|8:46 am – Mohammed Atta and the other hijackers aboard American Airlines Flight 11 crash the plane into floors 93-99 of the North Tower of the World Trade Center, killing everyone on board and hundreds inside the building.|
|8:47 am – Within seconds, NYPD and FDNY forces dispatch units to the World Trade Center, while Port Authority Police Department officers on site begin immediate evacuation of the North Tower.|
|8:50 am – White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card alerts President George W. Bush that a plane has hit the World Trade Center; the president is visiting an elementary school in Sarasota, Florida at the time.|
|9:02 am – After initially instructing tenants of the WTC’s South Tower to remain in the building, Port Authority officials broadcast orders to evacuate both towers via the public address system; an estimated 10,000 to 14,000 people are already in the process of evacuating.|
|9:03 am – Hijackers crash United Airlines Flight 175 into floors 75-85 of the WTC’s South Tower, killing everyone on board and hundreds inside the building|
|9:08 am – The FAA bans all takeoffs of flights going to New York City or through the airspace around the city.|
|9:21 am – The Port Authority closes all bridges and tunnels in the New York City area.|
|9:24 am – The FAA notified NEADS of the suspected hijacking of Flight 77 after some passengers and crew aboard are able to alert family members on the ground.|
|9:31 am – Speaking from Florida, President Bush calls the events in New York City an “apparent terrorist attack on our country.”|
|9:37 am – Hijackers aboard Flight 77 crash the plane into the western façade of the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., killing 59 aboard the plane and 125 military and civilian personnel inside the building.|
|9:42 am – For the first time in history, the FAA grounds all flights over or bound for the continental United States. Over the next two-and-a-half hours, some 3,300 commercial flights and 1,200 private planes are guided to land at airports in Canada and the United States.|
|9:45 am – Amid escalating rumors of other attacks, the White House and U.S. Capitol building are evacuated (along with numerous other high-profile buildings, landmarks and public spaces).|
|9:59 am – The South Tower of the World Trade Center collapses.|
|10:07 am – After passengers and crew members aboard the hijacked Flight 93 contact friends and family and learn about the attacks in New York and Washington, they mount an attempt to retake the plane. In response, hijackers deliberately crash the plane into a field in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, killing all 40 passengers and crew aboard.|
|11 am – Mayor Rudolph Giuliani calls for the evacuation of Lower Manhattan south of Canal Street, including more than 1 million residents, workers and tourists, as efforts continue throughout the afternoon to search for survivors at the WTC site.|
|1 pm – At Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana, President Bush announces that U.S. military forces are on high alert worldwide.|
|2:51 pm – The U.S. Navy dispatches missile destroyers to New York and Washington, D.C.|
|5:20 pm – The 47-story Seven World Trade Center collapses after burning for hours; the building had been evacuated in the morning, and there are no casualties, though the collapse forces rescue workers to flee for their lives. It is the last of the Twin Towers to fall.|
|6:58 pm – President Bush returns to the White House after stops at military bases in Louisiana and Nebraska.|
|8:30 pm – President Bush addresses the nation, calling the attacks “evil, despicable acts of terror” and declaring that America, its friends and allies would “stand together to win the war against terrorism.”