Posted by Sarah Seippel on


On September 11, 2001 militants associated with the Islamic extremists group Al Qaeda hijacked four airplanes and attacked the United States.  The terrorists flew two of the planes into buildings that were apart of the World Trade City, one into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, and the fourth into Shanksville, Pennsylvania. This attack robbed the country not only of its safety but of life.

Who Attacked Us?

A total of nineteen terrorists hijacked the four planes on September 11, 2001.  All the men were reported to have been from the Middle East, and they belonged to a terrorist group called Al Qaeda.  The group is a militant Sunni Islamist multi-national organization founded by Osama bin Laden, and one of their primary purposes before this attack was to drive the United States armed forces out of Saudi Arabia and Somalia by violence.  The motives for this treacherous act were stated before and after the attacks, including a declaration of a holy war against the United States made be Osama bin Laden.

The World Trade Center

Two of the hijacked planes hit the World Trade Center at 8:45 a.m. on a Tuesday morning.  The impact left a gaping, burning hole near the top of the 110-story skyscraper, killing hundreds of people and trapping hundreds more in floors above.  Less than two hours after, the north building of the twin towers collapsed.  Only six people in the towers at the time of the collapse survived. 


How Many People Died in 9/11 Attacks?

A total of 2,996 people were killed in the attacks, including the 19 terrorists.  Over 2,500 of the deaths resulted from the attacks made on the Twin Towers, including 343 firefighters and paramedics, 23 New York City police officers, and 37 Port Authority police offices were attempting to evacuate the buildings and save the workers trapped on the higher floors.


How Did America Respond to 9/11?

The night of the attacks President George W. Bush, who was in Florida at the time of the attacks, delivered a televised address from the Oval Office declaring, “Terrorist attacks can hake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.”  Meanwhile, people turned to their faith to help make sense of attacks.  Americans were called to become stronger through the struggle to rebuild on a solid foundation and to love as if everything depended on it.

How Has American Changed Since 9/11?

Following this event, the United States Government took many steps in increasing its safety.  The security at airports and public buildings is much stricter due to the passing of the Aviation and Transportation Security Act, which unified the security at airports across the country.  TSA implanted procedures that included stricter guidelines on passenger and luggage screenings.  Now, only ticket passengers are allowed pass security.  Additionally, new machinery and procedures were installed to check for weapons and destructive items.

Not only have the safety procedures advanced but the government has also changed.  More than 130 pieces of 9/11 related legislation were introduced in 2002.  Aside from the Transportation Security Act, the Enhanced Border and Security and the Visa Entry Reform Act were also introduced.


The Encyclopedia of 9/11. New York Magazine.

September 11th Terror Attacks Fast Facts. CNN.              

9/11 Attacks.  The History Channel.

What Happened on 9/11.  Scholatic.


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