By Malachi Gravette
“I know you’ve got a lot in the building but we’re up on the top. Smoke rises too. Come on, I can barely breathe now – can’t see. It’s really bad, it’s black, it’s arid. We’re young men, not ready to die … Hello... there’s three of us, two broken windows... Oh God! Oh…” -- Last words of Kevin Cosgrove, 45-year-old father of three.
September 11, 2001, is one of the most important days in the history of the United States. On this day, America was attacked by the terrorist group Al Qaeda. A total of 2,996 people lost their lives during these attacks. Before we dive into the timeline, we would like to honor the brave men and women that lost their lives trying to save others: 343 firefighters and paramedics, 23 New York City police officers, and 37 Port Authority police officers, who were trying to complete an evacuation of the buildings. You will always be remembered. #NeverForget.
• 7:59 am – American Airlines Flight 11 with 92 people aboard takes off from Boston’s Logan International Airport.
• 8:14 am – United Airlines Flight 175 with 65 people aboard takes off from Boston.m
• 8:19 am – American Airlines learns that Flight 11 has been hijacked; the FBI is informed
• 8:20 am – American Airlines Flight 77 takes off from Dulles International Airport with 64 people aboard.
• 8:24 am – Hijacker Mohammed Atta makes the first of two accidental transmissions from Flight 11 to ground control.
• 8:40 am – The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) alerts North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD)’s Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) about the suspected hijacking of Flight 11.
• 8:41 am – United Airlines Flight 93 with 44 people aboard takes off from Newark International Airport. It had been scheduled to depart at 8:00 am.
• 8:46 am – Mohammed Atta and the other hijackers aboard American Airlines Flight 11 crash the plane into floors 93-99 of the North Tower of the World Trade Center.
• 8:47 am – NYPD and FDNY forces dispatch units to the World Trade Center, while Port Authority Police Department officers on site begin evacuation of the North Tower.
• 8:50 am – Chief of Staff Andrew Card alerts President George W. Bush, who was visiting an elementary school in Florida, that a plane has hit the World Trade Center.
• 9:02 am – After initially instructing tenants of the WTC’s South Tower to remain in the building, Port Authority officials broadcast orders to evacuate both towers.
• 9:03 am – Hijackers crash United Airlines Flight 175 into floors 75-85 of the WTC’s South Tower.
• 9:08 am – The FAA bans all takeoffs of flights going to New York City or through the airspace around the city.
• 9:21 am – The Port Authority closes all bridges and tunnels in the New York City area.
• 9:24 am – The FAA notified NEADS of the suspected hijacking of Flight 77 after some passengers and crew aboard are able to alert family members on the ground.
• 9:31 am – Speaking from Florida, President Bush calls the events in New York City an “apparent terrorist attack on our country.”
• 9:37 am – Hijackers aboard Flight 77 crash the plane into the western façade of the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.
• 9:42 am – For the first time in history, the FAA grounds all flights over or bound for the continental United States.
• 9:45 am – Amid escalating rumors of other attacks, the White House and U.S. Capitol building are evacuated.
• 9:59 am – The South Tower of the World Trade Center collapses after 56 minutes.
• 10:07 am – Passengers on Flight 93 mount an attempt to retake the plane. In response, hijackers deliberately crash the plane into a field in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, killing all 40 passengers and crew aboard.
• 10:28 am – The World Trade Center’s North Tower collapses, 102 minutes after being struck by Flight 11.
• 11 am – Mayor Rudolph Giuliani calls for the evacuation of Lower Manhattan south of Canal Street.
• 1 pm – President Bush announces that U.S. military forces are on high alert worldwide.
• 2:51 pm – The U.S. Navy dispatches missile destroyers to New York and Washington, D.C.
• 5:20 pm – The 47-story Seven World Trade Center collapses after burning for hours.
• 6:58 pm – President Bush returns to the White House after stops at military bases in Louisiana and Nebraska.
• 8:30 pm – President Bush addresses the nation, calling the attacks “evil, despicable acts of terror” and declaring that America, its friends and allies would “stand together to win the war against terrorism.”