20 years ago, September 11, 2001— an unimaginable event happened on US soil. At 8:20 a.m. the media reported that a tragic accident occurred, involving a passenger jet crashing into a New York skyscraper.
However, the world would soon learn that just minutes after the plane departed from the airport, Islamic, radical terrorists, had hijacked the airliner, filled with unsuspecting passengers.
Discovering the events which took place prior to the crash, were disturbing— in order to take over the airplane, the hijackers mercilessly broke into the cockpit, brutally killing anyone who got in their way, including both pilots.
Without regard for any human life, the terrorists, purposefully, and methodically flew the passenger jet into the North Tower of The World Trade Center, also known as the “Twin Towers.” (At the time, these towers were the world’s tallest buildings).
Around 9:00 a.m., the news media went live from the scene of the crash, to publicize this incomprehensible catastrophe. As the news traveled across the vast array of networks, suddenly, a new report came across, which was as disturbing as the first. Confirmation that a flight attendant, aboard a different flight, had alerted air traffic control that yet another hijacking was underway.
Within minutes, that passenger jet would also crash into the second tower. Two airplanes hitting the tallest buildings in Manhatten…this was no accident, it was clear, we were under attack.
Fear and disbelief flooded New York and households across America.
The upper level of the towers exploded from the violent impact of the planes. Fuel consumed the massive buildings in a fiery inferno. People began frantically calling their loved ones from inside the burning buildings, to tell others about what was happening, and sadly most called to say their last words, “Goodbye, I love you.”
As the towers burned, the metal began to give way. Shortly after impact, the building debris began to fall violently to the ground, hitting bystanders, wounding and killing several individuals, whose feet were firmly planted as they looked up in disbelief. Everyone was trying to make any reasonable assumption as to why this was happening.
To the shock of many, included among the debris, were bodies of people who fell or jumped out of the 110 story buildings. The additional casualties sustained unbelievable physical and emotional trauma, as jumping to their death was justified as an alternative to burning alive.
Without hesitation, first responders swiftly ran into the burning buildings. As heroic as the act of climbing a 110 story staircase ablaze was…most never made it to their injured or trapped victims — they also lost their lives in the process of doing their job, saving others.
At 9:37 a.m, news circulated that a third jet had now crashed into the Pentagon. President, George W. Bush, and other top officials were taken immediately to a secure location. Secret Service personnel began evacuating the White House as it was thought to be the next possible target of the attacks.
To counter further potential attacks, the Secretary of Defense ordered all pilots to divert to the closest available airport. Flights were immediately grounded. An executive command was declared; if an airliner was noncompliant with the order, the military had clearance to shoot down the plane. Fighter jets scrambled across America, and then the sky grew eerily silent, as all planes were now grounded.
At 10:28 a.m. The first World Trade Center collapsed from the immense fire. Within minutes, the second tower also fell, taking down additional buildings nearby, and killing hundreds more. It was as if we were all watching a fictional story on a movie screen, with detonations strategically placed for implosion. Yet, this was happening live, before a stunned world of helpless bystanders.
Later a fourth plane was reported to have been hijacked, however, this plane never made it to its intended destination. Incredibly several brave passengers placed matters into their own hands and took on a valiant fight with the terrorists. Many of the passenger’s friends and family received a phone call describing their dilemma and what they intended to do to stop the terrorists, however, this also meant those very passengers would never return home, as they fought to their death and the plane crashed in a Pennsylvania field.
Thousands of lost lives ended tragically that day. Hundreds of first responders, civilians, government workers, businessmen, women, and innocent children died due to multiple, evil, acts of terrorism.
The tragedy did not end on September 11, 2021, thousands planned funerals to bury those who were taken by the evil of terrorism.
Due to the massive building collapse, fires, and crashes, numerous bodies were never recovered. Thus families could not say a traditional and much needed goodbye.
Military groups were deployed by the thousands, who went to avenge and bring to justice those who orchestrated this horrific event. Although many were brought to justice, thousands of military servicemen and women also lost their lives in the line of duty.
Many still suffer today from the events that unfolded on 9-11. PTSD, grief, anxiety, depression, and other mental health maladies are burdens that carry a heavy weight on their victims.
Additionally, the first responders who survived working at the scene of the towers collapsed, and people in the buildings or nearby, still suffer from ongoing respiratory problems and other major health effects caused by the smoke, debris, and dust that engulfed the city.
This day forever changed the lives of every single person who watched the surreal events unfold, or lived through this tragic day.
The phrase “Never Forget” is forever tied to 9-11, and tied to these things;
“Never Forget” that 0n 9-11 the days that followed, when America stepped up in unity and rallied to help one another. We rejected hate and embraced selflessly loving each other.
“Never Forget” We must each choose how we live out our lives. Each terrorist had free will to decide how they wanted to live their lives and carry out their beliefs, and they chose the path of evil. As Christians & Americans, we each have the freedom to choose how we will live and carry our faith, we must do so with integrity, choosing to do good over evil, as no one is free from the consequences of our choices and actions.
“Never Forget” that evil is real, but so is the power of God. He will have the final say at the end of each life. He will be the ultimate Judge, Jury, and Prosecution to those who carry out such wickedness.
“Never Forget” We must each decide if we want to be part of the problems in this world or the solution to the problems.
“Never Forget” Today you have the choice to be a force for the good, and turn away from evil, embracing the grace and forgiveness of Jesus. You exist to make a difference in the lives of your family and those in your community.