September 11, 2001, when the lives of Americans were disrupted by militants that were associated with the Islamic extremist group, Al Qaeda. The day when Americans were bent but never broken. The day where we have proven that we can rise and stand stall amidst the rubbles of terrorism.
On that fateful day, about 3,000 people were killed and it began a serious battle of combating terrorism under the administration of then-President George W. Bush. Al Qaeda hijacked four airplanes and targeted key US installations – two planes hit the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, one at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. and the fourth plane crashed in Shanksville Pennsylvania.
Heroes of 9/11
The fourth plane did not reach its intended destination as the heroic passengers and crew of United Flight 93 valiantly fought the four hijackers inside the plane crashing it in a field in Pennsylvania never reaching its target location.
On ground zero, ordinary Americans put on their capes and became the heroes of that day as they worked with firefighters and other men and women in uniform tirelessly sifting through debris to find survivors. One such man was Welles Crowther, a 24-year-old equities trader who helped at least 12 people get out then helped the firefighters to get more out. He was known as “the man in the red bandana.”
Who can forget the American Airlines Flight 11’s flight attendants who calmly called the American Airlines Flight Service hotline to describe what was happening inside the plane. Because of the information relayed by flight attendants, Amy Sweeney and Betty Ong, about 20 minutes before the plane crashed in the North Tower, names and addresses and other information was known by American Airlines and helped the FBI with their initial investigation.
Those are but a couple of stories of how Americans rallied together as one nation. 9/11 was the reason why we started going to war in Afghanistan to crush Al Qaeda who claimed responsibility for the attacks. But it was also because of that that we fight against terrorists who are threatening our freedom and safety.
Unbreakable spirit of New York
Six months after the September 11 attacks, Tribute in Light was first presented to the public and has shone every year, from dusk ‘til dawn on the night of September 11 to honor those who perished and to celebrate the “unbreakable spirit of New York.”
The twin beams of the Tribute in Light symbolizes the fallen World Trade Center as it can be seen within the 60-mile radius around lower Manhattan.
One World Trade Center
We gave, we volunteered, and we supported those who were in need until they can stand back up once again. From giving meals to the firefighters to helping remove debris, to helping the families left behind by those who perished, we rallied and helped each other as we mourned the thousands who perished in the worst terrorist attack that happened on our homeland.
Americans have an indomitable spirit. And the One World Trade Center, standing tall above the ruins of former World Trade Center, is a testament that we can always rise back up again if we work together as one nation.