9/11's 20th Anniversary, and how We Will Never Forget

Shown is 1 & 2 World Trade Center, the “Twin Towers”, behind the Statue of Liberty, in 1977. © Brownie Harris/Corbis Historical, via Getty Images

20 years ago to this day, at 8:46AM Eastern Daylight Time, America, and the world as a whole, was changed forever.

19 men, affiliated with the terrorist group known as al-Qaeda, launched a surprise attack against America. Four flights, American Airlines Flight 11, United Airlines Flight 175, American Airlines Flight 77, and United Airlines Flight 93 were hijacked early on that Tuesday morning, in various locations over the Northeast United States.

American Airlines Flight 11

Shown is N334AA, the incident aircraft, in 1990. © Peter Frei 1990

Flight 11 was operated by N334AA, a Boeing 767-223ER delivered new to American in April 1987. N334AA departed Boston Logan International Airport at 7:59AM from Runway 04R.

The 11 crew members aboard were Captain John Ogonowski, 50, First Officer Thomas McGuinness Jr., 42, purser Karen Martin and flight attendants Barbara Arestegui, Jeffrey Collman, Sara Low, Kathleen Nicosia, Betty Ong, Jean Roger, Dianne Snyder, and Amy Sweeny.

There were 81 passengers (including 5 hijackers), including David Angell, the creator and executive producer of 90s’ sitcom “Frasier”, his wife Lynn, and actress Barry Berenson. “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane and actor Mark Wahlberg were supposed to be on Flight 11 but missed the flight and canceled his reservation, respectively.

The 9/11 Commission estimates the hijacking began at 8:14AM in Boston ARTCC airspace, over central Massachusetts.

All 92 aboard perished when Flight 11 collided with 1 World Trade Center (The North Tower) at 8:46AM. The North Tower collapsed at 10:28AM.

“Okay, my name is Betty Ong. I’m Number 3 on Flight 11. Our Number 1 got stabbed. Our purser is stabbed. Nobody knows who stabbed who and we can’t even get up to business class right now because nobody can breathe. And we can’t get to the cockpit, the door won’t open.” - Betty Ong

United Airlines Flight 175

Shown is N612UA, the incident aircraft, in 1999. © Jon Proctor 1999

Flight 175 was operated by N612UA, a Boeing 767-222 delivered new to United in February 1983. N612UA departed Boston Logan International Airport at 8:14AM, 14 minutes behind schedule, from runway 09. It was around this time that American Airlines Flight 11 was hijacked.

The 9 crew members aboard were Captain Victor Saracini, 51, First Officer Michael Horrocks, 38, purser Kathryn Laborie, and flight attendants Robert Fangman, Amy Jarret, Amy King, Alfred Marchand, Michael Tarrou, and Alicia Titus.

There were 56 passengers aboard, including 5 hijackers.

At 8:37AM, Boston ARTCC asked Flight 175 if they were able to locate American Airlines Flight 11. The crew responded that Flight 11 was at 29,000 feet, and Boston instructed Flight 175 to avoid the aircraft. The crew declared that they had heard a suspicious transmission from Flight 11 during their departure, “Sounds like someone keyed the mic and said ‘Everyone, stay in your seats’”. This was the last transmission from Flight 175.

It is estimated the hijacking began between 8:42 and 8:46AM, while American Airlines Flight 11 was making it’s final descent over New York City. Between 8:58 and 9:03AM, Flight 175 turned towards New York City in a powered dive. The average rate of descent exceeded 5,000 feet per minute. Controllers in New York City reported Flight 175 had achieved a rate of descent of 10,000 feet per minute shortly before colliding with 2 World Trade Center (The South Tower), "and they were descending, right at the end, at 10,000 feet per minute. That is absolutely unheard of for a commercial jet."

All 65 aboard perished when Flight 175 collided with the South Tower at 9:03AM. The South Tower collapsed at 9:59AM.

“It’s getting bad, Dad. A stewardess was stabbed. They seem to have knives and Mace. They said they have a bomb. It’s getting very bad on the plane. Passengers are throwing up and getting sick. The plane is making jerky movements. I don’t think the pilot is flying the plane. I think we are going down. I think they intend to go to Chicago or someplace and fly into a building. Don’t worry, Dad. If it happens, it’ll be very fast… Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God…” - Peter Hanson, moments before Flight 175 collided with the South Tower

American Airlines Flight 77

Shown is N644AA, the incident aircraft, in 2001. © Javier Rodriguez 2001

Flight 77 was operated by N644AA, a Boeing 757-223 delivered new to American in May 1991. N644AA departed Washington Dulles International Airport at 8:20AM, from runway 30. By this time, American Airlines Flight 11 was already hijacked.

The 6 crew members aboard were Captain Charles Burlingame, 51, First Officer David Charlebois, 39, purser Renee May and flight attendants Michele Heidenberger, Jennifer Lewis and Kenneth Lewis.

There were 58 passengers aboard, including 5 hijackers.

The 9/11 Commission estimated the hijacking began between 8:51 and 8:54AM, shortly after American Airlines Flight 11 collided with the North Tower and United Airlines Flight 175 was hijacked. Shortly after the hijacking occurred, the aircraft turned towards Washington, D.C., and the transponder onboard was turned off. The FAA was aware there was a problem onboard by this point, as American Airlines Flight 11 had already collided with the North Tower and United Airlines Flight 175 was known to have been hijacked and was nearing New York City.

All 64 aboard perished when Flight 77 collided with the Pentagon at 9:37AM. 125 in the Pentagon perished, including first responders.

“The speed, the maneuverability, the way that he turned, we all thought in the radar room, all of us experienced air traffic controllers, that that was a military plane. You don’t fly a 757 in that manner. It’s unsafe.” - Danielle O’Brien, Dulles International Airport ATC

United Airlines Flight 93

Shown is N591UA, the incident aircraft, in 1999. © Joe G. Walker 1999

Flight 93 was operated by N591UA, a Boeing 757-222 delivered new to United in June 1996. N591UA departed Newark Liberty International Airport at 8:42AM, from runway 30. By this time, American Airlines Flight 11 was 4 minutes from colliding with the North Tower, United Airlines Flight 175 was being hijacked, and American Airlines Flight 77 was 9 minutes from being hijacked.

The 7 crew members aboard were Captain Jason Dahl, 43, First Officer LeRoy Homer Jr., 36, and flight attendants Lorraine Bay, Sandra Bradshaw, Wanda Green, CeeCee Lyles, and Deborah Welsh.

There were 37 passengers aboard, including 4 hijackers.

The hijacking began at 9:28AM. By this time, American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 had already collided with the North and South Towers, respectively, and American Airlines Flight 77 was 9 minutes from colliding with the Pentagon. Of the four flights, only Flight 93 was able to send a distress call. This may have been because the crew was made aware of the previous incidents via ACARS and purposefully keyed their mic when the intrusion occurred to inform Cleveland ACC.

Some 29 minutes after the hijacking of Flight 93 began, the passengers, herded at the back of the cabin, discussed and voted on attempting to revolt against the 4 hijackers and retake control of the aircraft. By now, the other three hijacked flights had reached their intended destinations. The passenger revolt began at 9:57AM. The hijacker in control of the aircraft departed the set course for Washington, D.C., and violently maneuvered the aircraft in an attempt to prevent the passengers from reaching the flight deck. The CVR recorded sounds of crashing, screaming, and the shattering of glass and plates. The hijacker in command initiated a dive after consulting another hijacker at 10:01AM. It is believed the passengers managed to breach the flight deck and were seconds from regaining control of the aircraft, but were too late. Then-Vice President Cheney is reported to have said, “I think an act of heroism just took place on that plane” after learning about the crash.

All 44 aboard perished when Flight 93 crashed in Somerset County, Pennsylvania.

“Let’s Roll.” - Todd Beamer

In total, 2,977 lives were taken, and a further 25,000 were injured, as a result of the actions of those 19 al-Qaeda terrorists. Their acts of violence may have not been held in vain, but our resolve was stronger than they could have ever imagined. Almost 10 years after the events of September 11th, 2001, Osama bin Laden, the man responsible for orchestrating the attacks against America was finally found and subsequently killed in Pakistan on May 2nd, 2011.

Even 20 years after America’s darkest hour, we still remember and honor those whose lives were taken, from the businessmen and women working in the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, the passengers of Flights 11, 175, 77, and 93, and the first responders and everyday people who saved the lives of others in exchange for their own.

Shown is the temporary September 11 memorial and One World Trade Center, also known as “Freedom Tower”. © Demerzel21

We Will Never Forget.


We Will Never Forget.


In 4 hours 35 minutes, at time of writing, it will be 20 years to the minute that the first plane hit.

We Will Never Forget What Happened On That Day


We Will Never Forgot how this day was horrible for the entire world and also for the aviation world

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We Will Never Forget This Horrible And Tragic Event


I remember a video called “The Day After 9/11”. It was just a collection of clips from around New York. People were walking their dogs, people at the park playing their guitars, litter on the streets being thrown around by the wind.

Call me emotionless but this video felt much more melancholic than any 9/11 memorial video I’ve ever seen. It felt odd watching the video knowing that the deadliest attack on American soil happened the day before. It seemed like a simple, normal video of everyday life for people in New York.

However it was anything but. Nothing was normal after September 11th.

The beginning of a 20 year war, the entire world in shock, the pride of America taking a crippling blow. The world will never return to the way it was on September 10th, 2001.

We will never forget.


9/11 has been the worst day in history fo many, some people have moved on, some couldn’t, 9/11 is bigger than just an event, it was a terriost attack w’re thousands of people died. We will never forget of those people stuck in the twin buildings, of those people who got stuck in planes, of those people who risk their own lives to saves others, of those who. waited for loved ones to come home for dinner but never came home.

We will never forget.

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Honoring 343 FDNY members 23 NYPD and 37 PAPD officers (1 police dog)who was preparing for their morning shifts 2,606 civilians at World Trade Center, 125 people at pentagon both in the armed forces and civilian contractors who was preparing for work and 246 passengers and crew on board the 4 flights(not including hijackers) AA 11 Boston, Massachusetts to Los Angeles struck WTC 1 at 08:46. UA 175 Boston, Massachusetts to Los Angeles, California struck WTC 2 at 09:03 AA 77 Washington Dulles to Los Angeles, California struck pentagon at 09:37 UA 93 Newark, NJ to San Francisco, California who tragically lost their lives. Passengers and crew showed heroism on board in thwarting the terrorist plan on hitting a major landmark. UA 93 was the only hijacked plane that never made it to the hijackers intended target. Had the courageous passengers and crew not showed an act of bravery the US capitol or white house would have been demolished. “Lets Roll” Todd Beamer along with other passengers and crew conduced the revolt 10:02 plane impacted in a rural field in PA. South Tower Collapse 09:59, North Tower Collapse 10:28. At first most people thought it was a accident when the first plane struck the north tower. However a flight attendant was able to contact American Airlines headquarters and Local ATC about the situation. Once the second plane struck the south tower the rest of America quickly realize it was a deliberate coordinated attack on the country. After the third plane struck the pentagon FAA ordered a nationwide shutdown of US airspace requiring all commercial flights to land at nearest airport. International Flights destined to US crossing the Atlantic were either forced return to their original departing airport or ordered to land at gander and surrounding airport region in Canada. They were also ordered to not fly into Montreal Quebec or Toronto to keep aircraft away from major city centre however they later accepted a few. International Flights flying across the Pacific had no choices but to land at Vancouver airport. US and Canada shut down their entire airspace to commercial flights. Only police emergency flights Military government and humanitarian flights were permitted. This is probably also the only time Air Force One President plane ever received armed fighter planes escort. Before 9/11 knives and sharp objects of a certain length were permitted including box cutters which were used by hijackers and security screening were done by private companies contracted by airline or airport and non passengers were permitted to escort loved ones to gate or wait for loved ones as they arrive. After 9/11 security plans were revised and greatly increased at airports and many other places.No sharp items were permitted carry onboard the TSA was created and took over all airport security screening to present day and security restrictions became extremely strict. Aircraft received ballistic door to stop bullets and reinforced door to prevent ramming from items such as a food service cart. Doors remained closed during flight at all times. Armed marshals were introduced on airplanes. Security was also strictly enforced and upgraded at major events, federal and government buildings, ports and introduced additional law enforcement agencies and armed forces in intelligence to reassure people trust in safety and to also ensure a repeat of 9/11 never occurs.

photo of Newark airport gate A17 US flag flying. United Airlines 93 departure gate on 9/11. Photo is taken by me. Do not use without permission


we will never forget

In the words of President Reagan referring to the Space Shuttle Challenger.

“We will never forget them, not the last time we saw them, as they slipped the surly bonds of earth”

Beautifully written post. The terrorists may have succeeded that day, but what they did not, nor will they ever, succeed at is tearing our American spirit down.


My hearts go out to all families of victims affected by this tragedy.

We will never forget

We Will Never Forget the countless life’s lost. Rest In Peace to all the First Responders, Passenger, Pilots, Cabin Crew and the people that perished during this tragedy.

We will never forget 9/11 and the first responders who gave their life’s to save others.
Here’s gate B32 at BOS, the gate that AA11 was at on 9/11


Beautifully written post. My mom described to me her story of 9/11.

She woke up for some strange reason at 4:30 Alaska time and couldn’t get back to sleep, so she figured she would turn on the TV to watch something until she fell asleep. At the time we had cable TV so she watched the news. She thought she saw an airplane crashing into a building, but then she thought she must be watching a movie… until every other news channel was showing the same thing. Some minutes later she saw the second one, and then a short while later, the buildings collapse

Anyway, we must never forget what happened, those who lost their lives, and what we can learn from it.

Hold those you love tightly because none of these fine people in those buildings that day expected what would happen. For them and their families, they were just going to work.

Never forget


We will never forget

All my respect to everyone who was somehow affected by this tragic event 😔

Let us never forget this horrible event. From the people on the four hijacked flights, to those in the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, to the first responders who risked their lives running into danger to help people. 9/11 was America’s darkest hour, but our resolve was stronger than anyone could imagine.

Never forget 9/11, and those who lost their lives that day.

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We will never forget.


We will never forget what happened 20 years ago on this tragic day…

Beautifully written, @nativetoalaska!

Six people from my town lost their lives that day, along with 2,971 other souls. It was and still is a devastating day, but we, America, will never, ever forget. 🇺🇸❤️

A photo of the “Tribute in Light” that shines at the 9/11 Memorial, taken last night by me. Please do not use without my permission.