Monday marks the 22nd anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States, in which 19 men linked to Al Qaeda hijacked four commercial planes and killed nearly 3,000 people.
On the morning of 9/11, terrorists launched four attacks in the United States, crashing two hijacked planes into the North and South Towers of the World Trade Center in New York. Another hijacked plane crashed into the Pentagon in Virginia, and a fourth plane, United Airlines (UA) Flight 93, crashed into a field in Pennsylvania after passengers worked together to stop the terrorists.
At 8:46 a.m. ET on that fateful day, American Airlines (AA) Flight 11 crashed into the upper floors of the North Tower. Minutes later, at 9:03 a.m. ET, a second plane, UA Flight 175, flew into the South Tower, striking the 77th to 85th floors. According to the 9/11 Memorial website, an estimated 16,400 to 16,400 people were inside the World Trade Center (WTC) towers when the planes struck.
After the Twin Towers collapsed, planes destroyed the North and South Towers as well as five other buildings within the World Trade Center complex. “The collapse of the buildings left the site devastated. Thousands of volunteers came to Ground Zero to aid in rescue, recovery, and cleanup efforts, and on May 30, 2002, the last piece of steel from the World Trade Center was ceremoniously removed,” 9/11 Memorial website pointed out.
The terrorist attack was planned by al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and is still considered the deadliest terrorist attack on U.S. soil. Twenty-two years after the attack, the death toll continues to rise, including many first responders injured and sickened during recovery and rescue efforts.
Weekly newspaper A few photos have been compiled to illustrate this still infamous day in American history.
In the two photos below, the World Trade Center towers are engulfed in flames and large amounts of smoke after being hit by two hijacked planes.
In another photo, a firefighter can be seen heading to assist with rescue efforts shortly after the Twin Towers were hit.
Three additional photos shown below capture the reaction after the Twin Towers were hit and eventually collapsed. The photos show large amounts of smoke filling the air and streets as people try to evacuate.
President George W. Bush
On September 11, then-President George W. Bush went to Emma E. Booker Elementary School in Sarasota, Florida, to meet with children. While in class, Bush learned that a plane had hit the World Trade Center, but it was early believed to be an accident.
At around 9:05 a.m. ET, Bush learned from then-White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card that a second plane had hit the World Trade Center. “America is under attack,” Card told Bush, who was in an elementary school classroom at the time.
The photo below captures the moment Bush learned of the attack.
Another photo shown below captures the moment Bush addressed the nation after the attack.
A third plane, AA Flight 77, crashed into the Pentagon in Virginia at approximately 9:37 a.m. ET. The photos below show the damage to the building caused by the accident.
According to the 9/11 Memorial website, passengers on United Airlines Flight 93 decided to take action against the terrorists who hijacked their flight after learning on board that the World Trade Center and Pentagon had been attacked.
“The plane crashed in a field in western Pennsylvania, about 20 minutes outside of Washington, D.C.,” the 9/11 Memorial website states.
The photo below captures the area where Flight 93 crashed and where investigators responded shortly after.