The Day the World Changed Forever
It was exactly 8:46 a.m. when American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the World Trade Center's North Tower, instantly killing everyone onboard, plus hundreds who were inside the tower.
Just moments after the first plane flew into the building, White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card interrupts an elementary school reading event in Sarasota, Florida, to inform President George W. Bush of the attacks on the World Trade Center.
A woman standing outside of Manhattan's centuries-old Trinity Church watches in horror as the World Trade Center towers become engulfed in flames. Though the church sits directly across from the site of the attacks, it suffered no damage.
When describing the day that the attacks took place, few New Yorkers fail to mention the bright morning sun and especially the cloudless, absolutely brilliant blue sky. Airline pilots refer to such perfect weather as "severe clear."
Hundreds of New York City firefighters responded to the World Trade Center attacks. Due to faulty radios, which prevented them from hearing the order to evacuate the South Tower, 343 firefighters perished when the first building collapsed at 9:59 a.m.
The Nightmare Continues
People fleeing the area after the South Tower collapsed at 9:59 a.m. At 10:28 a.m.—102 minutes after being hit by Flight 11—the North Tower would also collapse.
The View From Above
A satellite image captures smoke rising from the site where the Twin Towers once stood. This image was taken at 11:43 a.m., after both towers had collapsed.
Darkness in Daylight
When the towers fell, it was imperative that those who were nearby and outdoors flee the scene immediately. Despite the bright sunshine and clear blue sky, lower Manhattan had become dark, smoke-filled and virtually uninhabitable.
A Surreal Manhattan Skyline
This is how the attacks looked from just across the Hudson River, in Jersey City, New Jersey. A total of 749 residents of the Garden State died in the 9/11 attacks in Manhattan, at the Pentagon and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
A legal assistant for Bank of America, Marcy Borders (aka Dust Lady) worked on the 81st floor of the World Trade Center's North Tower. She survived the attack but died of cancer in 2015 at the age of 42.
Accessing the Damage
The Twin Towers weren't the only buildings destroyed or damaged by the attack in New York. Three other buildings near the site, including the Marriott Hotel, were also destroyed, and a half dozen others, including the U.S. Customs House, were severely damaged.
Dust in the Wind
Dust from the building collapses remained in the air for five months after the 9/11 attacks. Residents, responders and survivors have fallen victim to Ground Zero respiratory illnesses as a result.
A man stands alone in the carnage and calls out asking if there is anybody in the rubble who needs help. Debris from the collapsed buildings totaled 1.8 million tons.
A Survivor's Tale
Edward Fine had just completed a meeting on the 78th floor of 1 World Trade Center when it was hit by a hijacked plane. He made his way to safety by climbing down the stairs, then watched the tower collapse after he'd escaped.
99 Days of Fire
Fires continued to burn for 99 days after the World Trade Center towers were attacked and destroyed.
Watching the Towers Burn
An unidentified man looks on as the World Trade Center towers burn. The man had been inside one of the towers when it was struck but managed to escape unharmed.
Across the River
Across the river and out of harm's way, a new life begins in the shadow of horrific tragedy.
Stock Market Rubble
The U.S. stock market never opened on 9/11; in fact, trading was suspended until September 17, the longest shutdown since 1933. The week that trading finally resumed, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1,370 points, more than 14 percent.
New York City firefighter Tony James attends the funeral service of Fire Department Chaplain Rev. Mychal Judge, who died on 9/11 when debris from a collapsing tower struck him in the head. Judge was designated "Victim 0001," or the first official victim of the attack.
Raising Our Flag
Shortly after 5 p.m. on the day of the attacks, New York City firefighters George Johnson, Dan McWilliams and Billy Eisengrein raise an American flag at Ground Zero. McWilliams had taken the flag off a yacht that he saw docked in the Hudson River.
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