With the 10-year anniversary of the tragedy of 9/11 just days away, Americans will undoubtedly, as in prior anniversaries, mourn the thousands of innocent lives that were lost in Lower Manhattan on a day that began with clear blue skies-but in a blink of an eye-turned into a plume of black smoke when the twin towers of the World Trade Center collapsed like dominoes in front of millions of a shocked and traumatized television audience.
But unlike past anniversaries, this is the first 9/11 anniversary in which we take comfort in knowing the ruthless mastermind of the attacks, Osama bin Laden, is no longer lurking somewhere in the foothills of Afghanistan or Pakistan, thanks to the US Navy SEALS tracking and eventually gunning him down in Pakistan's northern city of Abbottabad.
Americans will also remember the 9/11 anniversary by reflecting on how much the world has changed over the last 10 years; and how vulnerable we really were prior to a terrorist attack on our own soil.
So as a way to consider how 9/11 impacted our lives and shaped public policy, I assembled some historical facts and statistics related to the dreadful day that refuses to recede from our memories.
• In an effort to combat terrorism after 9/11, President George W. Bush signed into the law the Patriot Act on October 26, 2001, a bill consisting of 342 pages, 156 sections, and giving the FBI and CIA expanded powers to tap phones, monitor Internet traffic, and allow federal agents to obtain business and personal records. The Senate approved the bill (98-1), followed by the House of Representatives in a 357-66 vote.
• The USA Patriot Act is an acronym for Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism.
• On March 4, 2006, the U.S. House of Representatives passed revisions to the Patriot Act (280 to 138), which placed curbs on the act’s powers, including protecting libraries from government intrusion and creating judicial oversight.
• According to the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, 414 local, county, and state resolutions have been passed condemning the Patriot Act as a violation of civil liberties.
• According to the New York Chief Medical Examiner’s Office, as of August 2011, out of 2753 reported missing from the World Trade Center, 1122 victims have not been identified; leaving 1631 which have been identified.
• According to ``Bowker's Books in Print'' database, in the U.S. publishing market alone as of August, 2011, there have been 1,742 books written about 9/11, which includes fiction, pictorial books, and juvenile literature.
• According to The Foundation Center, 1,339 foundations, corporations, and other institutional donors made gifts in response to 9/11, which exceeded $1.1 billion in more than 4,500 gifts for relief and recovery efforts and for issues related to the attacks, including bioterrorism and civil rights
• The September 11th Fund of the United Way of New York City/New York Community Trust received $163 million, surpassing all other organizations; the American Red Cross Liberty Disaster Relief Fund received $150 million
• Foundations and corporations in the tri-state area (New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut) provided 52 percent of all giving.
• The Social Security Administration estimates that $250 million in benefits have been paid out to people affected by the September 11 tragedy.
• The World Trade Center consisted of 7 buildings, including one hotel, spread across 16 acres of land. The buildings connected by an underground mall and concourse.
• The Twin Towers (1 WTC, or the North Tower, and 2 WTC, or the South Tower) were the signature structures, containing 10.4 million square feet of office space.
• Both towers had 110 stories, were about 1,350 feet high and were square; each wall measured 208 feet in length. On any given workday, up to 50,000 office workers occupied the tower, and 40,000 people passed through the complex.
• Each tower contained three central stairwells, which ran essentially from top to bottom, and 99 elevators.
• As of 9:00 a.m. units that were dispatched (including senior chiefs responding to headquarters) included approximately 235 firefighters. These units consisted of 21 engine companies, nine ladder companies, four of the departments’ elite rescue teams, the department's single Hazmat team, two of the city's elite squad companies, and support staff.
• According to the Congressional Research Service, the cumulative total appropriated from the 9/11 for war operations, diplomatic operations, and medical care for Iraq and Afghan war veterans is $1.283 trillion including: $806 billion for Iraq; $444 billion for Afghanistan; $29 billion for enhanced security; and $6 billion unallocated .
• According to Paul Colford, Director of Media Relations at The Associated Press, the first AP news bulletin on 9/11 moved on the A wire at 8:53 a.m with the headline: ``Plane crashes into World Trade Center, according to television reports’’; and it was AP’s own Jerry Schwartz who first coined the term ``Ground Zero’’ at 12: 29 p.m on 9/11, when he wrote: ``Emergency vehicles flooded into Lower Manhattan. No one knew what happened; the towers target of a terrorist bombing in 1993; seemed to be ground zero once again.''
• The first time the term ``9/11’’ was used to describe the terrorist attack on American soil was in a Bill Keller column in The New York Times on September 12, 2001: ``Correspondent: America’s Emergency Line: 9/11’’
• There were six Pulitzer Prizes directly awarded to journalists for 9/11 coverage and two more related to Afghanistan, which later entered the picture, according to Sig Gessler, administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes and a special faculty member of the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University.
• The 9/11 Memorial will be dedicated on September 11, 2011 on the 10 year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, in a ceremony for victims’ families. It will open to the public on September 12, 2011, and will welcome visitors who have reserved free advance passes. The 9/11 Memorial Museum will open in September 2012, a year after the Memorial.
Highlights of the Museum include:
• The names of 2,983 victims of the attacks of September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993 will be listed on bronze parapets surrounding the pools.
• 8,151 tons of structural steel will be used in the Memorial and Museum when complete, more than what was used to build the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
• 485,919 gallons of water will be held in each Memorial pool.
• The Memorial pools will be approximately 200 feet in length.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was created in the wake of 9/11 to strengthen the security of the nation’s transportation systems while ensuring the freedom of movement for people and commerce.
• Since 9/11, TSA has screened nearly 5 billion passengers, detected approximately 50 million prohibited items, including 4,600 firearms during airport checkpoint screening.
• Since the agency’s inception, TSA has screened approximately 4 billion checked bags. Every checked bag is screened for explosives.
• Approximately 500 advanced imaging technology machines are deployed at 78 airports nationwide. Since the technology has been deployed, more than 300 prohibited, dangerous, or illegal items have been detected on passengers.
• Today, TSA recurrently checks over 20 million airline passengers, flight crew and transportation-related employees on a daily basis against the federal watchlist and identifies known or suspected terrorists working in, or seeking access to, the Nation’s transportation system.
According to the New York City Comptroller’s Office:
• Total private employment in NYC fell by 97,500 jobs from August to December 2001, and reached a low in August 2003 with a total loss of 167,100 jobs. By June 2011, private employment added 76,000 more jobs than had existed prior to the attacks.
• Since 9/1, the manufacturing sector has lost more than 80,000 jobs and the financial activities sector has lost more than 41,000 jobs. Although the City’s financial sector rebounded after 9/11, employment in this sector has not reached pre‐attack levels. The financial sector’s share of total City jobs has decreased from 12.8 percent to 11.6 percent. The manufacturing sector has decreased from 4.2 percent to 2.0 percent of total jobs.
• The Fire Department uniformed headcount decreased by 3.9 percent in the fiscal year immediately after 9/11 (more than 2 percent of FDNY uniformed personnel perished on 9/11) but by FY 2005 had rebounded to pre‐9/11 levels. Headcount levels dropped below 9/11 levels in FY 2010 as a result of the City's budgetary constraints and has remained below since then
September 8, 2011
Source: 9/11 Memorial and Museum Press Office; The Foundation Center; Transportation Security Administration; Office of NYC Comptroller John C. Liu; The 9/11 Commission Report
Selection of Front Pages on September 12, 2001
The New York Times, September 12, 2001
Terrorists Hijack 4 Airliners, Destroy World Trade Center, Hit Pentagon: Hundreds Dead
The Washington Post, September 12, 2001
NEW DAY OF INFAMY,
Boston Globe, September 12, 2001
San Francisco Examiner, Sept 12, 2001
Denver Post, September 12, 2001
ACT OF WAR
Hartford Courant, September 12, 2001
The Atlanta Constitution, Sept 12, 2001
The Miami Herald, September 12, 2001
The New York Daily News, September 12, 2001
TERROR HITS HOME.
The Houston Chronicle, September 12, 2001
The Salt Lake Tribune
For additional front pages related to 9/11, SEE, Newseum’s interactive archive
September 11th Events Planned by NFL and MLB
September 11th had a direct impact on the professional sports world as well. The tragic terrorist attack led the NFL to cancel the second week of the season on September 16, 2001, while Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig cancelled games through September 16, making it only the third time in MLB history that games were cancelled due to war or national security reasons.
This year, on the 10-year anniversary, which just happens to fall on the first week of the NFL season, all games in each of the broadcast windows (1:00 PM, 4:15 PM and Sunday Night Football) will feature a special video introduction followed by performances of “Taps” from near the sites of the attacks, and moments of silence. For the 1:00 PM games, (the Baltimore Ravens hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers) “Taps” will be performed in Shanksville, PA while the 4:15 PM games, (the Washington Redskins hosting the New York Giants) will feature a rendition from Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA. NBC’s Sunday night game (the Dallas Cowboys visit the New York Jets) will include a performance from Hoboken, NJ, looking across the Hudson River to Ground Zero. Coaches, players and local first responders and other heroes will come together to hold field-length American flags for the playing of the National Anthem prior to each game.
It was announced recently that the National Football League and the NFL Players Association will contribute $1 million to three memorials and two charities related to the events of September 11, 2001. In addition, the NFL and NFLPA will donate all proceeds from the sale of auction items from games played on Sunday, September 11. These items, which fans can bid on at www.NFL.com/Auction, will include game-worn autographed player jerseys, coaches and player hats, and commemorative game coins used during those games.
Major League Baseball teams, meanwhile, will be wearing flags on hats and the backs of jerseys, a special video will be played, a remembrance logo will be on each field, and each club is coordinating a service-oriented activity. In addition, each club is honoring public servants, first responders, and members of the military, while many are allocating free tickets for them as well.
Select Minutes of Events on September 11, 2001
5: 53: a.m.: Hijackers Mohamed Atta and Abdulazis Alomari board a Colgan Air Flight from Portland to Boston, Ma.
7: 59: a.m.: Flight 11 (American Airlines Boeing 767-223 ER, 23, 980 gallons of fuel, 81 passengers, nine flight attendants, and two pilots) takes off from Boston’s Logan Airport.
8:00 a.m.: President Bush receives an intelligence briefing with a brief reference to a heightened ``security risk’’ having been reported during the summer, but not alarming enough for him to place a call to National Security Advisor, Condoleezza Rice.
8: 13 a.m.: Flight 11 is hijacked; flight attendant Amy Sweeney witnesses three of the hijackers storming the cockpit at approximately 8: 20 a.m.
8: 14: a.m.: Flight 175 (Boeing 767-222, 23, 980 gallons of fuel, 56 passengers, seven flight attendants, and two pilots, flying to Los Angeles) takes off from Boston’s Logan Airport 16 minutes after the scheduled 7: 58 a.m. departure time.
8: 20 a.m. Flight 77 (Boeing 757-223, with 11, 489 gallons of fuel, 58 passengers, four flight attendants, and two pilots) departs Dulles Airport outside Washington for Los Angeles, 10 minutes after its 8: 10 scheduled departure.
8: 20 a.m.: Four hijackers from Flight 77 rise from their seats in the business class and shoot or stab passenger Daniel Lewin who was sitting in the row in front of them.
8:20 a.m.: Flight 11 stops transmitting its IFF (identify friend or foe) beacon signal.
8: 20 a.m.: Flight attendant Sweeney uses an AirFone to call Boston’s Logan Airport to tell them that hijackers have stabbed two first class flight attendants, Barbara Arestegui and Karen Martin, while also informing them that the hijackers brought a bomb into the cockpit. Sweeney was still feeding information to the flight service manager (Michael Woodward) right up until the plane crashed.
8: 34 a.m.: Flight controllers hear a hijacker on Flight 11 tell passengers: ``Nobody move, please, we are going back to the airport. Don’t try to make any stupid moves.’’
8: 35 a.m: President Bush’s motorcade leaves for Emma E. Booker Elementary School in Sarasota, Fl.
8: 38 a.m.: The talkback button on Flight 11 stops working, an indication that the hijackers have replaced pilot John Ogonowski.
8: 42: a.m.: Flight 93 (Boeing 757, 38 passengers (out of 182 seats), five flight attendants, and two pilots departs Newark International Airport bound for San Francisco, Calif., 41 minutes late.
8: 46 a.m.: Flight 11 slams into the North Tower of the World Trade Center, striking the 93rd-98th floors in the 110 story building, approximately 1,360 people die.
8: 46 a.m: Two French documentary filmmakers with their cameras rolling 10 blocks away from the WTC, capture a distant image of the first crash.
8: 48 a.m.: CNN is the first major network to show footage of the crash with anchor Carol Lin saying: ``This just in. You are looking at …obviously a very disturbing live shot there-that is the World Trade Center, and we have unconfirmed reports this morning that a plane has crashed into one of the towers.''
8: 50 a.m.: The last radio contact with Flight 77 is made when the pilot asks for clearance to fly higher. Six minutes later, the plane doesn’t respond to a routine instruction.
8: 50 a.m.: Flight 175, already off course, makes a complete U-turn and starts heading north toward New York City. About this time, a flight attendant reports the plane has been hijacked.
8: 52 a.m.: ABC breaks into regular programming to report the crash.
8: 54 a.m.: Flight 77 from Washington veers off course over Southern Ohio, turning to the Southwest.
8: 55 a.m: President Bush’s motorcade arrives at Emma E. Booker Elementary School, a visit intended to outline his education policies.
8: 55-9:00 a.m.: President Bush first learns of the crash when advisor Karl Rove takes the president aside to inform him of the tragedy.
8: 58 a.m.: Brian Sweeney of Flight 175 calls his wife and leaves the following the message: ``We’ve been hijacked and it doesn’t look good.’’
9:03 a.m.: Flight 175 hits the South Tower (Tower Two) of the WTC; the plane strikes the 78th-84th floors in the 110 story building. Approximately 100 people are killed or injured in the initial impact; 600 people in the Tower eventually die.
9: 03 a.m.: The WTC is evacuated before the second Tower is hit.
9: 12 a.m.: Renee May, a flight attendant on Flight 77, uses a cell phone to call her mother in Las Vegas to inform her that her flight has been hijacked.
9: 17 a.m.: FAA shuts down all NYC Airports.
9: 20 a.m.: Conservative American television commentator (and lawyer) Barbara Olson, wife of Theodore (Ted) Olson, Solicitor General at the Justice Department, calls to inform him that the hijackers (on Flight 77) used knives and box cutters to hijack the plane.
9: 21 a.m: The New York City Port Authority closes all bridges and tunnels in NYC.
9: 27 a.m: Flight 93 passenger Tom Burnett calls his wife to tell her that the plane has been hijacked with a bomb on board.
9: 28 a.m.: CNN, citing The Associated Press, report that U.S. officials think the attacks are believed to have been carried out by terrorists.
9: 29 a.m.: President Bush delivers a speech while still inside Booker Elementary School: ``Today, we've had a national tragedy. Two airplanes have crashed into the World Trade Centre in an apparent terrorist attack on our country."
9: 32 a.m.: The New York Stock Exchange closes.
9: 37 a.m.: Flight 77 crashes into the Pentagon with approximately 125 people on the ground, later determined killed or missing.
9: 37 a.m.: Vice President Dick Cheney telephones President Bush to tell him the White House has been targeted and to stay away from Washington.
9: 40 a.m.: Flight 93 transponder signal is turned off.
9: 41 a.m.: Flight 93 passenger Marion Britton calls a friend to tell him two people have been killed and the plane has turned around.
9: 43 a.m.: President Bush learns of the attack on the Pentagon as he reaches Sarasota Airport.
9: 45 a.m.: The White House is evacuated.
9: 48 a.m.: The Capitol Building is evacuated.
9: 57 a.m.: Passengers and hijackers struggle in the Flight 93 cockpit.
9: 58 a.m.: Passenger Todd Beamer aboard Flight 93, indicates on a phone call they plan ``to jump’’ the hijacker in the back of the plane who has the bomb.
9: 59 a.m.: Richard Clark, counterterrorism tsar orders all prominent land mark buildings and all federal buildings in the U.S. evacuated; and all harbors and borders closed.
10: 00 a.m.: Flight 93 passenger Elizabeth Wainio tells her stepmother, ``Mom, they’re rushing the cockpit. I’ve got to go, bye.’’
10:06 a.m.: Flight 93 crashes into a Pennsylvania countryside, just north of Somerset County Airport about 80 miles southeast of Pittsburgh and 124 miles or 15 minutes from Washington, D.C.
10: 06 a.m.: According to Newsweek, U.S. intelligence pick up communications among bin Laden associates relaying the following message: ``We’ve hit the targets.’’
10: 08 a.m.: Armed agents surround the White House.
10: 10 a.m.: The U.S. military is put on high alert.
10: 13 a.m.: More prominent buildings in Washington are evacuated.
10: 15 a.m.: The front section of the Pentagon building hit by Flight 77 collapses.
10: 28 a.m.: The WTC North Tower collapses, 102 minutes after hit by Flight 11.
10: 53 a.m.: New York’s Primary elections, already in progress, are postponed.
11: 00 a.m.: More skyscrapers and tourist attractions are evacuated, including Walt Disney World, the Philadelphia Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, Seattle’s Space Needle and the Gateway Arch in St Louis.
11: 45 a.m.: Air Force One lands at Barksdale Air Force Base near Shreveport Louisiana.
12: 36 p.m.: President Bush delivers a second speech, which airs 30 minutes later, saying: ``Freedom itself was attacked this morning by a faceless coward. And freedom will be defended.’’
1: 02: p.m.: Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld calls the President and calls for war: ``This is not a criminal act. This is war.’’
1:02 p.m.: New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani orders an evacuation of Manhattan, south of Canal Street.
1: 27 p.m.: A state of emergency is declared in Washington.
1: 30 p.m.: Air Force One leaves Louisiana and flies to Nebraska Offutt Air Force Base, the location of the U.S. Strategic Command.
4: 00 p.m.: CNN reports there are good indications that bin Laden is involved in the attacks, based on ``new and specific’’ information since the attacks.
4: 10 p.m.: The WTC Building 7 is reported to be on fire.
4: 30 p.m.: The WTC Building 7 area is evacuated.
4: 33 p.m.: Air Force One leaves Nebraska and heads toward Washington.
5: 20 p.m.: The WTC Building 7 collapses; no one is killed.
6: 54 p.m.: President Bush arrives at the White House.
7: 00 p.m.: Secretary of State Colin Powell returns to Washington from Lima, Peru.
8: 30 p.m..: President Bush delivers his third speech of the day on live television in which he outlines the Bush Doctrine: ``We will make no distinction between terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.’’
11: 30 p.m..: Before retiring for the evening, President Bush writes in his diary: ``The Pearl Harbor of the 21st Century took place today…We think it’s Osama bin Laden.’’
Source: ``The Terror Timeline: Year by Year, Day by Day, Minute By Minute: A Comprehensive Chronicle of the Road to 9/11-and America’s Response.’’ By Peter Thompson and the Center for Cooperative Research (Harper, 2004).
Web Sites to Keep in Mind: