Almost two decades ago, Americans were shocked by Al Qaeda’s legendary terror attack. On the 19th anniversary, the area which once held the twin towers has been seized by a new wave of terrorists. This time, city officials have decided to help them instead of fighting. That’s why all attention is focused on a field in Pennsylvania. Because a group of brave and patriotic citizens took the law into their own hands, one terrorist mission failed. Two decades later, as domestic terrorists burn and loot American cities with law enforcement ordered to stand by and watch, this solemn date is a reminder that when it comes to protecting themselves, their families and their livelihoods, self-appointed minutemen use their bare hands if they have to, and get the job done. Whatever the cost.
Americans unite to fight back
Nineteen years ago today, on September 11, 2001, at 8:46 a.m. ET, an improvised guided missile disguised as a Boeing 767, American Airlines Flight 11, struck it’s intended target. The north tower of New York City’s World Trade Center. At first, horrified Americans thought it was an accident. Seventeen minutes later, at 9:03 a.m., it became blatantly obvious that we were under attack. United Airlines Flight 175 struck the south tower. A third hijacked aircraft, American Airlines Flight 77, apparently “vaporized” as it struck the Pentagon at 9:37 a.m., leaving a huge hole in the building but virtually no plane wreckage. Only one Al Qaeda piloted plane did not strike it’s intended target, Flight 93.
President Donald Trump chose the final resting place of Flight 93 and it’s patriotic occupants, Shanksville, Pennsylvania, for his memorial remarks. Speaking to all Americans, the president somberly noted, “The first lady and I come to this hallowed ground deeply aware that we cannot fill the void in your heart or erase the terrible sorrow of this day. The agony renewed, the nightmare re-lived, the wounds re-opened, the last treasured words played over and over again in your minds. But while we cannot erase your pain, we can help to shoulder your burden.”
After promising “that unwavering love that you so want and need, support, devotion and the very special devotion of all Americans,” the president praised the bravery of passengers who “fought back against the hijackers, who intended to crash the plane into the U.S. Capitol.” As Trump recalled, “In this Pennsylvania field, the 40 intrepid souls of Flight 93 died as true heroes. Their momentous deeds will outlive us all.” He didn’t forget the valiant first responders of New York City’s “ground zero.” President Trump saluted them remarking, “on that day, more than 400 first responders gave their lives – including 23 New York City police officers, 37 Port Authority workers, and 343 New York City firefighters. Today, we honor their extraordinary sacrifice, and every first responder who keeps America safe.” That includes the ones dodging bricks and fireworks to respond to injured rioters.
Four minutes after Flight 93 took off, the first plane hit the World Trade Center. Planes everywhere were immediately grounded as Americans were glued to the tube. At 9:27 a.m. all was normal with Captain Jason Dahl working with air traffic control in Cleveland, then came “Mayday! Mayday!” The audio cut out as “two terrorists were struggling to take control of the cockpit.” A film producer who did detailed analysis of the official recordings notes, “It sounds like the pilot has been moved away from the controls and then, radio silence.” Indications are that “Saeed al-Ghamdi and Ahmed al-Nami infiltrated the cockpit. They were both trained by al Qaeda in unarmed combat.”
First-class passenger Tom Burnett called home to tell his wife, fellow passenger, Mickey Rothenberg, “had been stabbed and murdered.” He asked his wife “to call authorities and report a hijacking.” It only took about five minutes to get freshly trained student pilot Ziad Samir Jarrah to the controls. He got on the intercom and told the passengers, “he had a bomb.” As officials fiercely debated whether to shoot the plane down, the passengers decided to take action, as true Americans do when the chips are down.
At 9:56, near Shanksville, flight attendant Sandy Bradshaw called her husband. They were “boiling water and are about to race to the front of the plane and attack the hijackers.” The terrorists saw them coming. “The hijackers realized that passengers and crew were coming to get them.” That’s when Todd Beamer and his fellow patriotic Americans “recited the Lord’s Prayer and the 23rd Psalm before famously calling out, “Are you ready? OK. Let’s roll.”
The right decision
The plane went out of control right after the militia force of Americans “ran up the length of a 757 with all their improvised weapons.” before they broke through to the cockpit, “You can hear a hijacker being hit. He let out a cry and a wail as if he had been fatally struck.” Flight 93 nosedived toward the ground at more than 500 miles per hour. It crashed at 10:03 and 10 seconds.
Ben Sliney, national operations manager of the air traffic command insists, “Those heroes on United 93 averted an enormous potential catastrophe. I don’t doubt at all that they came to the right decision and did the right thing on that day — even though it cost them their lives.” Americans aren’t afraid to pay the ultimate price for such a great nation.
On the way to Shanksville, President Trump and First Lady Melania led a moment of silence in a conference room cabin of Air Force One to “commemorate the moment the first plane hit the World Trade Center.” The President made no remarks, simply “stood with his arms clasped and the first lady stood next to him in same position.” At the White House, “A large group of White House staff observed a moment of silence at 8:46 am ET, the moment the first tower was hit, on the South Lawn of the White House.” They gathered with “hands on their hearts, before a full honor guard in silence for several moments as a band played “Taps” to remember all of the Americans who suffered and died that tragic day.