Photograph of the original World Trade Center taken in March, 2001, about six months before the September 11 attacks. In this image we see the North and the South Towers. Online via Wikimedia Commons.
The World Trade Center is a living symbol
of man's dedication to world peace.
Minoru Yamasaki, Chief Architect of the World Trade Center
Shining brilliantly in the clear blue sky above America’s east coast, the sun promised a good travel day. People boarding planes in New York and Washington, D.C. would encounter few, if any, air-traffic delays on this Tuesday morning.
The summer of 2001 was nearing its end as thousands of lower Manhattan office workers followed their usual morning routine. Many worked in the skyline-defining twin towers of the World Trade Center. In Washington, meanwhile, employees of the Department of Defense were at their desks in a newly reinforced section of the Pentagon.
On this September 11 morning, four planes were scheduled to leave American airports within twelve minutes of each other. Aboard each of those planes were terrorists who were part of a coordinated plan to kill innocent people. Had the weather been bad, or the flights delayed for some other reason, the terrorists’ meticulously well-planned actions may not have occurred as they did.
But this is not the story of what might-have-been. It is the story of the worst attack on U.S. soil since the bombing of Pearl Harbor.