Tuesday, September 11, 2012
SEPTEMBER 11th 2001
0814hrs on September 11th 2001, the world changed forever. At this time, it is believed hijackers made their move aboard American Airlines Flight 11, shortly after leaving Logan International Airport. Stabbing three occupants and spraying the first class cabin full of mace, they quickly took control of the plane.
Flight attendants Betty Ong and Madeline Amy Sweeny contacted American Airlines via on board phone and cell phone to report the hijacking. They were able to give officials the seat numbers of the attackers and give an account of the situation. On the phone with AA, Sweeny states “We are flying low. We are flying very, very low. We are flying way too low. Oh my God, we are way too low.” The call ends with a burst of very loud, sustained static when the plane and all 87 passengers collided with the North Tower between the 99th and 93rd floor at 0846hrs.
While investigating an odor of gas, Battalion Chief Pfeifer and company had Jules Naudet riding along. He was with his brother Gedeon, and together they were filming the work experiences of a Probationary Firefighter. As Chief Pfeifer checks meter readings, the camera pans upward and becomes one of only two know videos of Flight 11 striking the North Tower. While enroute, a 3rd alarm was dispatched and by days end, a 15th alarm would be assigned to each Tower. The footage captured by the Naudet brothers would become the documentary ‘9/11’, and show the decimation and resilience of New York’s Bravest and the Country at its worst moment.
At 0851hrs, United Airlines 175 was taken over and would be joining Flight 11 in New York. Passengers were able to make phone calls to loved ones, but would slam into the South Tower between the 85th and 77th floors with all 60 passengers and billions around the world watching at 0903hrs. It was now obvious America was at war with an unknown enemy.
Sometime around 0853hrs, AA77 became the third plane hijacked and was destine for somewhere in the DC area. Officials at this point knew of a problem due to lack of communication, the transponder turned off and before dipping below radar, traveling at great speed. While Barbra Olson was on the phone with her husband, the US Solicitor General, the call was cut, and the 59 on board crashed into the Pentagon, killing an additional 125.
United 93 was hijacked at 0928hrs when terrorists charged the cockpit and took over. The 40 occupants were quickly moved to the rear of the plane where they slowly realized the flight would end in disaster. While making phone calls to loved ones, the passengers began to learn about the already happening events. Not to die quietly, the passengers fought back against evil, and sacrificed themselves at 1003hrs in a rural Pennsylvania field.
FATHER MYCHAL JUDGE
Upon learning of the attacks, Father Judge rushed to the site where he ran into Mayor Giuliani; whom asked him to “…pray for the city and its victims.” After administering last rights to Firefighter Daniel Suhr, who received a fatal blow from falling debris, Judge entered the North Tower and was seen pacing and praying to himself. As the South Tower collapsed, debris entered the lobby and killed Judge instantly. The last moments of his life was captured on video by Jules Naudet.
Judge’s body was removed from the lobby and in the process, captured by Shannon Stapleton as one of the most iconic photos of that day. Christian Waugh of Ladder 5; William Cosgrove, then a lieutenant in the Manhattan Traffic Task; Zachary Vause of Engine 21; Kevin Allen, of the Office of Emergency Management; and John Maguire, a Goldman Sachs employee who had come over from Wall Street to lend a hand; put Judge’s body in a chair, carried to St. Peter’s Church and laid on the alter. Officially, he is victim #0001, and had his helmet presented to Pope John Paul II in November 2001. In September 2011, the coat and helmet he was wearing that day was put on display at the FDNY Fire Museum.
Under the command of Captain Jay Jonas, L6 entered the North Tower to perform rescue operations when they stopped on the 27th floor to catch their breath. While resting they heard and felt the South Tower collapse and instantly the decision was made to evacuate. While traveling down stairwell B among civilians, the company ran into Josephine Harris, a worker who was unable to walk the trip down the stairs. The company carried Harris until the 4th floor where she was unable to continue. A few minutes later the Tower came down around them.
Once the intense noise subsided, a role call was performed and revealed that 13 people survived the collapse, and with no major injuries. Four hours later once the dust settled, and with enough light, they tied a rope to a firefighter to make his way out for assistance. L6 became 5 of only 14 firefighters to survive the collapse.
While listening to an elementary class read in Florida, President Bush was informed by his chief-of-staff Andrew Card that “A second plane hit the second tower, America is under attack.” Prior to entering the class room, it was known that a plane struck the first tower but all believed it was an accident involving a small aircraft.
As Bush spoke at 0930hrs, Vice President Cheney was in Washington when the Secret Service whisked him away to the Presidential Emergency Operations Center. Located under the White House, it was built to maintain government during times of war.
The Capitol was evacuated and for the first time ever, the Secret Service executed the emergency plan to ensure the presidential line of succession. The 15 next-in-line politicians were gathered and transported to secure locations.
Cheney and his staff was informed that a plane was 10 miles outside Washington and no one was sure its location other than low and very fast. American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Northwest corner of the Pentagon at 0938hrs and became the first successful attack on D.C. since the War of 1812.
On board Air Force One, President Bush’s destination was not yet known, even to the pilot. The order was to simply ‘get air born’. Shortly after take off in the fog of the day, it was believed that up to 11 planes may be hijacked, and that Camp David, the Bush Ranch, and the State Department have been attacked. The most chilling information was a credible threat of AF1 being a target. Per the air traffic controllers, a suspect aircraft was dead ahead in their air space. For the first time ever, fighter jets were deployed to escort the President and an armed guard placed at the cockpit door.
The White House, evacuated other than military personnel, was a high target and the Secret Service overruled President Bush’s request to return there. Landing at a Louisiana military base to obtain communication, the group shortly left and landed in Nebraska at a command bunker. At 1854hrs the President was back in the White House, and 80 million watched him deliver a powerful and somber speech from the Oval Office.
JOHN J. HARVEY
In 1931 the 18,000gpm capable, 130’ fire boat was launched into the FDNY Marine Fleet. He would serve the fire department for decades until being retired and sold for scrap in 1994 when a private group bought the boat and fully restored it to its original glory. On 9/11 the operators ask the fire department’s permission to shuttle civilians off Manhattan. While moving persons across the river, the Harvey was abruptly asked to return.
When the Towers came down, so did the water system. Many water mains were destroyed leaving the FDNY with no way to fight the hundreds of fires erupting in the wake of the day. The Harvey docked near Ground Zero and began to pump water along side the in-service units of the fleet, and in the process of pumping for 80 hours, reactivated his original radio designation of Marine 2.
FRESH KILLS LANDFILL
Needing a location to sort and store debris was a large challenge. Located on Staten Island is a landfill 2200 acres in size where 2 million tons of material was sent to be sifted. Through the efforts of the FBI, Medical Examiners Office and other agencies, 1600 personal effects and 4257 human remains were recovered that helped to identify 300 people.
The remaining debris was buried in a 40 acre plot. In October 2009, reclamation began on a 30 year development plan that will include a park to honor the victims never recovered.
GROUND ZERO SPIRIT
This is the official title for the photograph taken by Thomas Franklin of the Bergen Record capturing three fire fighters raising the American flag on a flag pole while surrounded by debris. Firefighters George Johnson and Dan McWilliams of Ladder 157, and Billy Eisengrein of Rescue 2 together raised the flag around 1700hrs that day. On March 11th 2002, the US Post Office issued the photo as a stamp, forever immortalizing the moment.
Because of the photograph, the flag immediately became a symbol of the indomitable American spirit. Still smelling of smoke, the flag was immediately transported to the crew of the USS Theodore Roosevelt en route to Afghanistan. It was then shared with six other military ships before returning to New York City. On Monday, April 1 2002, the flag was raised formally in front of New York's City Hall. All three of the firefighters who had originally raised the flag were in attendance. After flying over City Hall for a week, the flag was rotated among various city police and firehouses.
While shooting began in January 2001, May 2002 saw the release of the blockbuster ‘Spider Man’. To drum up excitement, the trailer for the movie depicted a theft of a bank, with the robbers making a getaway in a helicopter. A close-up of the helicopter was shown, until the helicopter stopped in mid-air. As the camera zoomed out, it was shown that the helicopter was caught in a spider web, suspended between the two Towers. The trailer was quickly changed.
During the movie, scenes of New Yorkers throwing trash at the Green Goblin with Spider-Man perched alongside the American flag were added after the 11th to reflect the city's sense of unity and patriotism.
In 2006, the move ‘World Trade Center’ was released based on the true account of Port Authority police officers Sgt. John McLoughlin, and Officer William Jimeno. They are two of only 20 people to have survived the collapse. During the attacks they were on the main concourse between the two Towers when the South Tower collapsed.
Filming the movie was a challenge onto itself. New York City, with good reason, denied the film makers permission to recreate Ground Zero, or even allow actors to look into the sky where the Towers used to be. While filming took place in NYC, all debris scenes were shot in California where approximately 240 tons of material was used to recreate Ground Zero.
Also in 2006, ‘United 93’ was released depicting the actions of the passengers on board the United Airlines plane that crashed in Shanksville, PA. The selflessness of the passengers who fought back to prevent a strike at the Capitol Building also shows the confusion and intensity of the day relating to the FAA, air traffic controllers, emergency services, and the military trying to decipher the information before them.
Film writers were in the process of writing a movie featuring Jackie Chan who would play a window washer that learns of and foils a terrorist attack. The windows he would be cleaning were those of the WTC. This movie idea was quickly put to rest.
Hollywood has portrayed the Twin Towers in over 680 movies. Yes that is not a type-o, 680. Weather it be a simple background shot, part of the movie poster, or a main focal point, the Towers were movie icons through-out their time. Even after their destruction they continue to be placed on the big screen, now as part of Americana.
The final total of the day that would forever label all days afterwards as “Post 9/11”, would take 2983 lives; only 1629 have been recovered. Tributes and memorials would spring up everywhere and range from a simple American flag on a light pole, to city blocks covered in missing persons posters, to bronze statues and plaques.
The FDNY would suffer the great loss of 343 members, 93 vehicles, and over $1 billion in damages. Several companies, like Rescue 2, Ladder 3, and Squad 252 would see their entire shift lost. Less than half of the killed firefighters would be recovered. In cases when only small remains were found in ‘The Pile’, coats were placed under the American flag to simulate a full person recovered.
On May 30th 2002, after around the clock work, the Ground Zero clean up effort was officially ended. There were no speeches, and the ceremony began with the sound of a fire bell ringing for a fallen firefighter at 1029hrs -- the same time the North Tower collapsed. Thousands of people stood in silence, some with tears streaming from their eyes, as an honor guard made up of police, firefighters and representatives of other agencies walked slowly up a ramp from the site carrying a stretcher bearing only an American flag. The flag, symbolizing the victims who were killed on September 11th but never found, was placed into a waiting ambulance. It was followed by a flatbed truck carrying the last steel column from the site of the Trade Center ruins. The 50-ton beam -- part of the Southeast corner of the South Tower -- was hoisted onto a flatbed truck and shrouded in black cloth after its removal. The ceremony marked the end of cleanup efforts after eight months and 108,342 truckloads of debris.
Freedom Tower construction began on April 27th 2006. The building, officially known as One World Trade Center, will stand where the original eight story 6 WTC building once stood. When competed in 2013, it will be the tallest building in America at 1776ft, a symbolic and not by-chance number. This structure will be built along side the National September 11th Memorial and Museum that will contain two waterfalls in the foot prints of the original Towers, as well as the names of the deceased at New York, Shanksville, the Pentagon, and the six people killed in the WTC bombing in February 1993. These names will be etched in bronze panels surrounding the two Memorial pools.
0759—Flight 11 departs Logan International Airport
0814—Flight 175 departs Logan International Airport
0819—Betty Ong reports Flight 11passengers stabbed and cockpit overrun
0820—Flight 77 departs Washington Dulles International Airport
0842—Flight 93 departs from Newark International Airport
0842-0846—Flight 175 is hijacked
0846—Flight 11 crashes into the North Tower
0848—First television report of the incident
0850-0854—Flight 77 is hijacked
0902—Flight 175 crashes into the South Tower
0905—President Bush learns of the second crash while at a Florida school
0908—The FAA bans all takeoffs nationwide for flights going to or through New York Center airspace
0926—The FAA bans takeoffs of all civilian aircraft regardless of destination creating a national ground stop
0928—Flight 93 is hijacked
0935—The White House is evacuated
0937—Flight 77 crashes into the Pentagon
0943—The Capitol is evacuated
0945—For the first time ever, United States airspace is shut down. No civilian aircraft are allowed to take off, and all aircraft in flight are ordered to land at the nearest airport as soon as possible
0957—Revolt aboard Flight 93 begins
0959—South Tower collapses
1003—Flight 93 crashes in rural Pennsylvania
1010-1015—Vice President Cheney, unaware that Flight 93 has crashed, authorizes fighter aircraft to engage the inbound plane, reported to be 80 miles from Washington
1028—North Tower collapses
1105-1153—The FAA, United Airlines, and American Airlines confirms planes have been hijacked, and crashed
1720—7 World Trade Center collapses
1854—Bush arrives at the White House
FOR MORE INFORMATION
The following graphic pictures were obtained from the website CRYPTOME. That website obtained the pictures from The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, Moussaoui trial exhibits and documents. Central PA Bravest has taken these pictures from a public website for you to view here, now. It is our intention to remind the citizens of this country what exactly happened that day, and what we all felt. There is always talk of the dead, now it is time to see the dead, and what the terrorists put us through.