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9-11 First Impressions

Contributed by Alex Shrugged

I awaken dreary-eyed. The television is on. It's some sort of disaster movie. Smoke is streaming from a tower. It doesn't make much sense until I realize that it isn't a movie at all. It is real. Somehow a large passenger plane has accidentally flown into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. It is a bright, clear day. How could it happen? Fifteen minutes later as reporters recount airplane crashes of the past, a second passenger plane crashes into the South Tower. It is no accident. It is war. People are trapped by fire and rubble. Others are painted in ash and blood as they evacuate to the street level. Phones calls go out, many leaving last words on answer machines, a final farewell. Heroes march into the conflagration determined to save something from this disaster. Many will not return. Far away in Washington D.C., people in the Pentagon crowd around a television, watching the scene in New York unfold. Unbeknownst to them, American Airlines Flight 77 has been hijacked by Islamic terrorists. On board is Fox News commentator Barbara Olson. She is on the phone with her husband, giving him information on the hijacking. She knows what is coming. She will not cry. Flight 77 plows into a newly reinforced section of the Pentagon. It cannot hold back the death and destruction that follows, but if the plane had hit any other wall... well... it is bad enough. A 4th plane never gets to its final target. The passengers have received word. Their only hope is to take the plane back from the hijackers or die trying. Todd Beamer recites the Lord's Prayer and the 23rd Psalm. His last words are, "Let's Roll". United Airlines Flight 93 plunges into a field in Pennsylvania. The fire in the Twin Towers continues. Nothing can stop it. Some people jump. Don't look. The structure weakens, and then collapses sending out massive clouds of ash and debris. It looks like one of those controlled explosions. Floor after floor pancakes, crumbles and then falls. Dead. Dead. They are all dead. Who did this? I want a name. Mohamed Atta was the ring leader, but he is dead. Osama bin Ladin? Yeah. I want him. [1]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Conspiracy theories abound, but I try to stick to the simple explanations. Complicated things go wrong. People talk. Keep it simple. I assume this was true with the 9-11 attacks. I was proud of the way people around me reacted. No one panicked. People were angry, but not at Muslims in general. Only the Islamic terrorists. I remember a public service announcement out of Texas put together to remind people that we are all Americans, as individuals different, but together we are one. "I am an American". Simple and effective. There is too much to say all at once, so I'll say no more. These were my first impressions surrounding the events of that fateful day. Yours may be different. We are Americans. [2]

My Take by Southpaw Ben
One of my earliest memories is of coming home from preschool this day, sitting on the couch next to our yellow clothes basket, and just barely understanding what was going on. I knew it was bad, but didn't realize how monumental of an event it was. Years later I would hear an learn much more about what happened and how it changed America. But back then, I just knew something reallying​ bad had happened somewhere far away. (I live in South East PA, so it wasn't really that far, but as a kid, it felt a world away.) I was 3 at the time.

The 9-11 Aftermath Timeline

Contributed by Alex Shrugged

A lot of things happened after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Here is a brief outline of what happened in the following weeks and months.

  • (September 13): Civilian air traffic resumes: Rush Limbaugh had been airborne during the attack, and was stranded for a time. [3]
  • (September 14): A National Prayer Service is held at Washington National Cathedral: It is the largest vigil ever held in the nation's capital to date. [3]
  • (September 14): President Bush gives his Bull Horn speech: "I can hear you! The rest of the world hears you! And the people--and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon!" [4] [5]
  • (September 17): The New York Stock Exchange reopens: It is the longest closure since the Great Depression. [3]
  • (September 18): Anthrax attacks begin, killing 5: Letters containing anthrax spores are mailed to major TV news outlets, newspapers and politicians. [3]
  • (September 20): President Bush declares a "War on Terror": He addressed a Joint Session of Congress. [3]
  • (October 7): The US invades Afghanistan: The Taliban refused to turn over Osama bin Ladin so in we go. They had their chance. [3]
  • (October 8): The US Department of Homeland Security is proposed: (I called it a foolish from the start.--alexshrugged) [3]
  • (October 9): More anthrax letters arrive: A biodefense researcher is suspected by the FBI, but it is never proven. He commits suicide seven years later. [3] [6]
  • (October 26): The Patriot Act is now law: (I'm a patriot, but where are the mad bombers?--alexshrugged). [3]
  • (November 13): President Bush authorizes military tribunals for suspected foreign terrorists: . [3]
  • (November 14): Northern Alliance troops supported by US forces take Kabul, Afghanistan: . [3]
  • (December 3): The American Taliban, John Walker Lindh, is captured on the battlefield: He'll get 20 years. [3]
  • (December 11): Zacarias Moussaoui is indicted for his part in the 9-11 attacks: He gets life without parole. He shouts, "America, you lost... I won." The judge replies that he will die with a whimper. (Good response.--alexshrugged) [3]
  • (December 22): Richard Reid tries to ignite a shoe-bomb on American Airlines Flight 63: Apparently he sweat too much and couldn't get the fuse to light. [3]
  • (December 22): The Northern Alliance turns power in Afghanistan over to President Hamid Karzai: He will remain in office until 2014. [3]

The War on Terror continues.

Notable Births

  • David Mazouz: Young Bruce Wayne in TV's Gotham. [7]
  • Rowan Blanchard: Star of Girl Meets World, a sequel to Boy Meets World. [7]

Notable Deaths

  • Dale Earnhardt (age 49, head trauma from a race car crash): A NASCAR stock car racer. [8]
  • George Harrison (age 58, cancer): Singer/songwriter for The Beatles. [8]
  • Ray Walston (age 86, lupus, an autoimmune disease) Boothby, the head groundskeeper at Starfleet Academy, the Martian in My Favorite Martian and the Devil in Damn Yankees!, still a great film.
  • Barbara Olson (age 45, 9-11 plane crash into the Pentagon): Fox News commentator and wife of Ted Olson, US Solicitor General. [8]
  • A unknown passenger on a 9-11 plane who took my cousin's place: (A life for a life. She made it count.--alexshrugged)

This Year in Film

  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone: (The book is better, but the movie is very good.--alexshrugged) [9]
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring: (They said it could not be done, but they retained the essential elements of the book.--alexshrugged) [9]
  • Shallow Hal: (Good music, pretty girls, a moral message and good to see an old friend of mine again.--alexshrugged). [9]
  • And...: Monsters, Inc., Shrek, and Legally Blonde. [9]

This Year in TV

  • 24: Agent Jack Bauer has 24 hours to find the terrorists and save America. (I loved it at first, but over time it became overly sensitive to liberal whiners.--alexshrugged) [10]
  • Enterprise: Renamed Star Trek: Enterprise in the 3rd season. A prequel to the original Star Trek series. (It was clunky.--alexshrugged)
  • Weakest Link: Contestants are mentally humiliated. [10]
  • Fear Factor: Contestants are physically humiliated. . [10]

This Year in Music

  • Heavy metal band Anthrax announces that they have changed their name to Basket Full of Puppies: The recent anthrax scare has forced the band to respond to criticism of their name. They take the criticism good-naturally. [11]
  • The iPod and iTunes media player launch: . [11]
  • XM Satellite Radio launches: . [11]

This Year in Video Games

  • The release of Nintendo GameCube, Game Boy Advance, and Microsoft Xbox: The Sony PlayStation 2 adds Internet support. [12]
  • Grand Theft Auto III: Rated the most offensive game of the year. (Stealing cars, shooting police officers and having sex with prostitutes. It has all the elements of a best seller which it is.--alexshrugged) [13]

In Other News

  • Enron files Chapter 11 bankruptcy: It is the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history to this point. (The accouinting company got hit as well. They were supoposed to catch companies like this.--alexshrugged) [3]
  • Argentina freezes all bank accounts for a year: Riots ensue. [3]
  • Donald Rumsfeld admits that $2.3 trillion in Pentagon spending cannot be accounted for: He calls the Pentagon bureaucracy a threat to America. (Yeah. I'll buy that.--alexshrugged)[14] [3]
  • Chief Justice Roy Moore installs a Ten Commandments monument in the judiciary building: He will be forced to remove it. [3]
  • Andrea Yates drowns her 5 young children in Houston: She said she was saving them from Satan. [3]
  • Microsoft releases Windows XP: . [3]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 2001, Wikipedia.

See Also


  1. The phone line from Flight 93 was still open when a GTE operator heard Todd Beamer say: 'Are you guys ready? Let's roll'. old.post-gazette.com (September 16, 2001). Retrieved on 10 May 2017. “Beamer then told Jefferson that he and the others had decided to 'jump on' the hijacker wearing the bomb. Jefferson could hear shouts and commotion and then Beamer asked her to pray with him. They recited the 23rd Psalm. He got Jefferson to promise that she would call his family, then dropped the phone, leaving the line open. That's when Jefferson heard what Lisa Beamer believes were her husband's last words: 'Let's roll.' Then there was silence. Jefferson hung up at 10 a.m. EST, realizing that the plane had gone down. Officials said it crashed at 9:58 a.m.”
  2. I Am An American 9/11 - Ad Council (60 seconds) - YouTube. Retrieved on 10 May 2017. “In September 2001, Texas ad agency GSD&M created a PSA to celebrate the country's extraordinary diversity and remind Americans that it was the time to unite as a country. And 10 years later, the message continues to resonate. Response to the PSAs in 2001 was unprecedented - the media donated $100 million in time and space in the first year, and Americans around the world voiced their support for such an important and timely message. www.gsdm.com www.adcouncil.org”
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20 2001 - Wikipedia.
  4. The Rhetoric of 9/11: Bullhorn Address at Ground Zero ( 9-14-01). americanrhetoric.com (2016). Retrieved on 10 May 2017. “Rescue Worker: I can't hear you! President Bush: I can hear you! I can hear you! The rest of the world hears you! And the people -- and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon! Rescue Workers: [Chanting] U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!”
  5. George W. Bush - 9/11 Bullhorn Speech - YouTube (September 14, 2001). Retrieved on 10 May 2017. “President George W. Bush: Bullhorn Speech to Emergency Rescue Workers at 9/11 Ground Zero, New York. Delivered 14 September 2001.”
  6. Bruce Edwards Ivins - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 10 May 2017. “The FBI subsequently requested a panel from the National Academy of Sciences to review its scientific work on the case.[14] On May 15, 2011, the panel released its findings, which 'conclude[d] that the bureau overstated the strength of genetic analysis linking the mailed anthrax to a supply kept by Bruce E. Ivins.'[6][15] The committee stated that its primary finding was that 'It is not possible to reach a definitive conclusion about the origins of the B. anthracis in the mailings based on the available scientific evidence alone.'”
  7. 7.0 7.1 2001 Births - Wikipedia (2001).
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 2001 Deaths - Wikipedia (2001).
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 2001 in film - Wikipedia (2001). Retrieved on 27 January 2017.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 2001 in television - Wikipedia (2001).
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 2001 in music - Wikipedia (2001). Retrieved on 30 January 2017.
  12. 2001 in video gaming - Wikipedia (2001).
  13. 2001 in video gaming - Wikipedia (2001).
  14. Speech View. Defense.gov. Retrieved on 2015-11-25.

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