It’s been eleven years since the efforts of 19 men changed the world view of so many of the rest of us. We are left with a textbook example of “flashbulb memory”. The Pew Research Center released survey results in 2002 that 97 percent of Americans could recall where they were and what they were doing when the Twin Towers went down. If we are old enough to remember the day, the events were so noteworthy, that those images, as if a flashbulb had suddenly brought them to light, are frozen in our long-term memory storage banks.
Here in the Central Time Zone, most of us were just getting up and around the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, when the four aircraft involved in the terror plots took off from Boston’s Logan, Washington’s Dulles and Newark airports. By 7:45 a.m., our time, the first Boeing 767 crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center. Many of us assumed it was a grave accident until 15 minutes later, when the second Boeing 767 crashed into the south tower. We then knew we were under attack.
Thirty-six minutes later, the Pentagon was severely damaged by a Boeing 757 flown into one wall of its distinctive architecture.
Once the passengers on United Airlines Flight 93, also a Boeing 757, surmised they’d been high-jacked, some of them used their cell phones. Through conversations with loved ones and friends, they apparently found out that more planes had been high-jacked by terrorists. Some investigators think the terrorists may have intended to crash Flight 93 into the White House. Before the plane could be used to kill more people, the brave passengers of Flight 93 crashed their aircraft into a field in Shanksville, Pa.
Though exact numbers and names may never be available for all who were lost, especially in the World Trade Center towers, CNN has a beautiful memorial site for the nearly 3,000 persons who were killed, at “www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2001/memorial/”.
For those who wish to share photos of the Sept. 11 events with young people, the web site “http://911digitalarchive.org/” is a treasure trove of 1,450 photographs. To understand more about the terror plot, “www.nytimes.com” offers flight information and trajectories, suspect names and photos and even transcripts of the final communications with the individual aircraft involved in the events of Sept. 11, 2001.