Today marks twenty years since the attack on America by Al-Qaeda terrorists who hijacked four commercial aircraft, hurdling two planes into the Twin Towers of New York City’s World Trade Center and plummeting a third plane into the Pentagon. A fourth aircraft, Flight 93, crashed after courageous passengers sacrificed their lives to prevent the terrorists from reaching its intended target and killing even more people.
The first plane to hit its target was American Airlines Flight 11. It rammed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center at 8:46 am. Seventeen minutes later at 9:03 am, the World Trade Center’s South Tower was hit by United Airlines Flight 175. Both of the 110-story towers collapsed within an hour and forty-two minutes after the onslaught began.
In all, 2,977 people died that dark Tuesday morning.
In recent weeks, after a twenty year war in Afghanistan, the last United States soldiers left Kabul. Still, there are Americans who remain stranded amid the growing rubble of a rapidly collapsing nation that is again under Taliban rule. It is hard to fathom that twenty years have passed since that day. In many ways, it is even harder to understand the way we exited.
Is the world more at peace than it was twenty years ago?
I remember the horrific images swelling from Ground Zero as my eyes stayed glued to the news coming from New York City.
I recall my phone ringing off the wall. Friends calling and crying in disbelief. Conversations with the owner of my company about how to proceed. Should we open for business today? Loved ones in distress. What was happening? Were there more attacks to come?
There were tears. And there was anger.
I remember the eeriness of looking up at an empty sky. No planes. I don’t recall even seeing any birds flying. The streets were empty too, as people stayed in the safe comfort of their homes wondering what to do and watching events unfold on their television screens.
I recall crying as I watched the towers melt.
I remember calling my Mom.
I remember talking with Terri, both of us in shock, unable to fathom what had just happened on this day, September 11, 2001.
I remember the fallen.
I remember the heroes.
I remember the unity we shared in that moment.
The Devotional Guy™