SAN ANGELO – This Saturday will mark the 20th anniversary of the moment that forever changed the lives of Americans. The 9/11 attacks would claim the lives of nearly 3,000 people in one day – making it the single largest loss of life resulting from a foreign attack on American soil.
The coordinated attack involving nineteen Al-Qaeda extremists went into motion at 5:45 a.m. as the first two terrorists passed through security at Portland International Jetport in Maine.
Over the next couple of hours, the terrorists boarded connecting flights in different airports across the country that would be hijacked and aimed toward strategic cities along the eastern seaboard.
Flight 11 –– Boston to Los Angeles
On board: 11 crew members, 76 passengers, and 5 hijackers
|7: 59 a.m||Flight 11 departs|
|8:19 a.m.||Crew members contact ground personnel|
|8:24 a.m.||Hijacker broadcasts message to air traffic control|
|8:46 a.m.||Flight 11 crashes into the North Tower & evacuations begin|
|10:28 a.m.||North Tower collapses 102 minutes after the attack|
Flight 175 –– Boston to Los Angeles
On board: 9 crew members, 51 passengers, and 5 hijackers
|8:15 a.m.||Flight 175 departs|
|8:52 a.m.||Crew members report hijacking|
|9:02 a.m.||South Tower evacuations begin|
|9:03 a.m||Flight 175 crashes into the South Tower|
|9:59 a.m.||South Tower collapses 56 minutes after the attack|
Flight 77 –– Washington Dulles to Los Angeles
On board: 6 crew members, 53 passengers, and 5 hijackers
|8:20 a.m.||Flight 77 departs|
|9:12 a.m.||Crew members report hijacking to airline|
|9:37 a.m.||Flight 77 crashes into the Pentagon|
|10:15 a.m.||Damaged outer ring collapses at the Pentagon|
Flight 93 –– Newark to San Francisco
On board: 7 crew members, 33 passengers, and 4 hijackers
|8:42 a.m.||Flight 93 departs|
|9:58 a.m.||Passengers report the hijacking to 9-1-1 as plane begins to descend near Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania|
|10:03 a.m.||Flight 93 crashes into field in Somerset County, Pennsylvania after crew and staff storm the cockpit|
In the midst of the chaos of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, at 9:42 a.m. the Federal Aviation Administration grounded all civilian flights. By 12:15 p.m. approximately a total of 4,500 flights had been canceled.
"Today, our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts," said President George W. Bush as he addressed a nation gripped by fear, disbelief, and desolation. "This is a day when all Americans from every walk of life unite in our 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 forward to defend freedom and all that is good and just in our world."