Terrorist Attack On America Stuns World
The American Flag was proudly hung outside of several businesses and houses around town to show support for the U.S.
Back in New York, the southern tower began its horrific decent to the street below at 10:05 a.m. The collapse showered the surrounding area with clouds of smoke, ash and debris. It is still unknown how many people remained in the buildings or how many rescue workers were trapped in and around the structure when it fell.
At 10:10 a.m., a fourth aircraft, United Airlines Flight 93 from Newark, New Jersey to San Francisco, a Boeing 757 carrying 45 people, crashed about 80 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Calls from passengers aboard the plane to family members told of hijackers and an attempt to regain control of the aircraft. It is suspected that the plane was targeted at the presidential retreat at Camp David, Air Force One, or a number of high profile buildings in the Washington D.C. area.
One hour and forty-five minutes after being struck, the northern tower of the trade center began to fold in on itself and came crashing down. No one is sure how many people were in or around that building when it fell.
Astronauts on the orbiting International Space Station reported being able to see the cloud of dust from the two structures collapse.
During the time the four planes took off, were hijacked by terrorists and crashed, at least four calls were made from the aircraft. Two calls from two different flights described the same scenes, hijackers armed with knife-like weapons taking over the plane. It has been thought that the hijackers probably began killing flight attendants to draw the pilot out of the cockpit and then took control of the plane.
It has been concluded that the hijackers were trained in flying large aircraft and at least one their flight schools in Florida identified. The answers to the question of who is responsible for these “acts of war” are becoming clearer each day the investigation continues.
Many fingers have been pointed at Saudi Arabian millionaire and known terrorist Osama bin Laden. Bin Laden has been credited with many terrorist attacks on America in recent years including the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.
In the early morning of the attacks, the Taliban, a group who controls 90 percent of Afghanistan and has admitted harboring bin Laden, issued a statement that they believed he had nothing to do with the attacks and urged the United States to not retaliate against their country.
President George W. Bush was in Florida for an education talk at a school when the attacks occurred. He was quickly put aboard Air Force One and transported to Shreveport, Louisiana, where he delivered a statement sent to news stations across the country via videotape.
The president stated that the full resources of the government were being used to assist rescue efforts at both attack sites. He stated that the U.S. Military, both at home and around the world, was on the highest alert status.
He also spoke to the American people later in the evening addressing concerns about governmental and financial stability. Perhaps, the most important statement he made came when he said, “We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.” There is no mistaking that this statement was directed toward the Taliban harboring bin Laden and all terrorist organizations harbored by unfriendly nations.
Searches for survivors and the dead in the rubble continued into the night and will continue in the days to come. It is known thousands died, but the exact count will not be known for sometime.
All times are Eastern Standard Time unless specified otherwise.