The Tragedy of 9/11

Jayleigh Draper, Photographer

18 years ago on September 11th, two towers were struck by hijacked planes in New York City. On these planes sat 19 militants associated with the terrorist group al-Qaeda. As the planes crashed into The World Trade Center, 5,867 people died and 6,000 were injured. The news shook the nation as they watched the towers crumble on live television. As turmoil broke out into the city of New York, President George W. Bush was sitting at Emma E. Booker Elementary School in Florida, he was reading The Pet Goat while listening to the students recite it back to him. At 8:50 AM Chief of Staff Andrew Card informed the president of the second strike to the towers, telling him that America was under attack. At 9:37 AM, the Boeing 757 crashed into the West side of the Pentagon. The jet fuel from the plane caused an inferno that led to the structural collapse of a portion of the building. Important buildings were being evacuated by this point, and just after the South Tower had collapsed at 9:59 AM, Flight 93 crashed into a field in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. The plane had crashed into the field during passengers’ attempts to retake the plane from the 4 al-Qaeda hijackers on board, the crash killed all 40 passengers and crew members. By 5:20 PM, the last of the World Trade Center had collapsed, along with America’s trust. 

In March of 2006, a museum was built in memorial of the victims of 9/11. In front of the museum sits the holes in which the twin towers once stood so proudly, panels lined with information surround the pits of flowing water. As you go into the museum, you receive headphones and a pamphlet before you descend down a flight of stairs. Beside these stairs sits the very stairs that were used by frantic victims escaping the towers, these stairs are called the Survivors’ Stairs. At the end of these stairs is a large room, and in the center sits an original beam of one of the towers. Attached to the beam are photos of deceased first responders, to the right of this beam sits a wall from the same tower, benches are scattered through the room for anyone to sit and reflect or take a moment to bask in the thick air of the museum.  As you continue through the museum, you can see the conversations of those on the planes crashed and those from the towers, photos and names are projected beside them. Various chunks of the towers and smashed first responder vehicles are spread out through the museum. Walking through this museum is unlike anything else you could ever experience.


A virtual tour of the museum