September 11, 2001. Over 3,000 people killed, 343 of which were firefighters, a total of around 400 first responders died. The goal of these attacks: take America down. The result: destruction, greif, and making a nation stronger than ever before. The first plane hit at 8:45, burning a hole near the 80th out of 110 floors of the north World Trade Center. The first thoughts were that it was a bomb, then when it was discovered a plane had crashed into the building, people thought it was a freak accident... I was 20 months old when this happened, when the first plane hit, I was still asleep in my crib, my dad was getting ready for work, and my mom was in the bedroom. All over the country, families were saying bye to loved ones, assuming they'd see them later that day, or it would be another normal day. President George W. Bush was reading to a class at an elementary school in Florida, not aware that within 45 minutes, his country would be changed forever. The second plane hit 18 minutes later, slaming into the south World Trade Center near the 60th floor. I was in my high chair and my mom was feeding me, my dad was sitting at the kitchen table by us reading the newspaper and eating breakfast, and the Today Show was on in the living room. At around 9:03, my parents heard the words, "The second tower has been hit!" Those were the words that would change America forever. Those were the words that would bring us closer as a nation. The minute my dad heard those words, he looked at my mom and said, "It's terrorists." My parents got up and we went into the living room to watch what was happening around 1,579 miles from us. Though I don't remember it, I saw what was happening.
At 9:45, a third plane circled around the nation's capital, Washington D.C., and slammed into the west side of the Pentagon, killing 125 military personnel and civilians, and the 64 people who were on the plane. Less than 15 minutes later, the event of that morning that would send America into a state of shock and grief, millions of Americans watched as the south tower collapsed. At 10:30, an even greater amount of horror struck America when the north tower collapsed. Nearly 3,000 people died in the World Trade Center and the area around it, including about 343 firefighters and paramedics, 23 members of the NYPD, and 37 Port Authority officials who were trying to evacuate the buildings. Only 6 people survived that were in the World Trade Center when it collapsed, and almost 10,000 others were injured severely. The fourth plane never reached its target, which was believed to be the White House, and that story hurts me the most. Thomas Burnett Jr. and three others were on that flight, and they knew what was going on. Thomas called his wife and told her what was about to go down. He told her that he knew what they (the terrorists) were about to do and that he and three others were going to stop this, he also said that he loved her and his kids. He died a hero that day. Him and the three others fought 4 highjackers, resulting in the plane crashing into a field in Pennsylvania at 10:10. All 45 people died.
At 7:00 P.M., President Bush returned to the White House once they knew it was safe. At 9:00 P.M., he spoke from the Oval Office on a televised broadcast, and this quote describes how the terrorists didn't reach their intended goal of destroying America. He said, "Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve."
President Bush also said this, "This is a day when all Americans from every walk of life unite in out resolve for justice and peace. America has stood down enemies before, and we will do so this time. None of us will ever forget this day. Yet, we go foward and defend freedom and all that is good and just in our wold."
We knew then that this could not tear us down, it could only bring us up and closer as a country.
10 years, 8 months, and 1 day later, the leader behind this devestating day was found and killed by U.S. Troops.
"For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies and to give you victory."
God was with us that day, He is with us 14 years later, keeping His hand over all who lost someone that tragic day. God led our troops to victory on May 2, 2011 when Osama bin Laden was finally put to an end. With God by our side, we can accomplish anything.
President George W. Bush prayed with us, cried with us, mourned with us, and built this nation back up. I pray for the thousands who died that day. I pray for their families and friends who said goodbye that morning not knowing that would be the last time they would ever see them. I pray for America and that on this day, September 11, 2015, we remember how firm we stand and that nothing can take us down.
9-11-01. Never Forget.
Today, I am proud to be an American.