We remember today the innocent citizens of 83 different nations who died: on aircraft hijacked for evil; in a Shanksville, Pennsylvania field; the wounded and dead at the Pentagon, and those who suffered and died in and around the World Trade Center in New York City.
We will never forget:
- 8:46 AM: Flight 11 crashes at roughly 490 mph (790 km/h) into the north side of the north tower of the World Trade Center, between floors 94 and 98. The aircraft enters the tower mostly intact. It plows to the building core, severing all three gypsum-encased stairwells, dragging combustibles with it. A massive shock wave travels down to the ground and up again. Combustible material and remnants of the aircraft are ignited by burning jet fuel. Two home video cameras are known to have recorded the impact. People below the severed stairwells in the north tower start to evacuate; no one above the impact zone is able to do so.
- 8:46 to 10:29 AM: At least 100 people - perhaps as many as 250 - primarily in the north tower, trapped by fire and smoke in the upper floors, jump to their deaths. At street level, firefighter Daniel Thomas Suhr is hit by a jumper and dies. No airborne evacuation is attempted as smoke is too dense for a successful landing on the roof of either tower.
- 9:03 AM: Flight 175 crashes at about 590 mph (950 km/h) into the south side of the south tower, banked between floors 78 and 84. By this time, several media organizations are covering the first plane crash; millions witness this second impact live. Parts of the plane leave the building at its east and north sides, falling to the ground six blocks away. A massive evacuation begins in the south tower below its impact zone. One of the stairwells in the south tower remains unblocked, but filled with smoke. This led many people to mistakenly go upwards towards the roof for a rooftop rescue that never came. CNN's headline reads "Second plane crashes into World Trade Center."
- 9:59 AM: The south tower of the World Trade Center collapses, viewed and heard by a vast television and radio audience. It stood for 56 minutes 10 seconds after impact. As the roar of the collapse goes silent, tremendous gray-white clouds of pulverized concrete and gypsum rush through the streets. Most observers think a new explosion or impact has produced smoke and debris that now obscures the south tower. When the wind finally clears the immediate space, it is plain to see that there is no tower.
- 10:28 AM: The World Trade Center north tower collapses from the top down, as if being peeled apart. No one above the impact zone in the north tower survives. The Marriott Hotel, located at the base of the two towers, is also destroyed. The second collapse is also viewed live on television and heard on radio.
- The north tower, 1 WTC, stood for 102 minutes 5 seconds after impact.
- The south tower, 2 WTC, collapsed about 56 minutes later.