On the morning of September 11, 2001, people going to work noticed an alarming sound. In New York City, they heard a jet engine that sounded closer than it should be. Then, people in Manhattan witnessed a horrifying sight. A jet crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center.
People inside the 110-story skyscraper were jolted by the impact. The building shook and windows vibrated. Workers inside the building scrambled to leave, but dust and smoke hindered their escape. Eventually, many people managed to make their way to the street. A scene of calamity met those who had escaped from the tower. Debris and paper from the tower’s offices lay scattered on the ground.
Several minutes later, another airliner hurled into the south tower of the World Trade Center. Some who saw the second jet strike the tower immediately thought it was a terrorist attack. People now began to run from the area. A little later, many people stopped to look at the damaged twin towers.
They did not have long to look. Soon, the south tower began to collapse, sending up a column of smoke. Clouds of dust rolled through the streets, driving New Yorkers before it. More than 20 minutes later, the north tower also tumbled down and again dust
4United Airlines Flight 175 flies into the south tower of the World Trade Center. The north tower is already in flames.
filled the streets. After the second tower collapsed, a witness asked, “How can it happen in America?”
Since September 11, 2001, Americans have struggled with the question of how the attacks could have happened. But they also have learned some information as well. They found out that 19 Middle Eastern terrorists had hijacked four passenger jets. Two flew into the World Trade Center towers, and a third struck the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. A fourth crashed in a field in Pennsylvania. More than 2,900 people died in these attacks. The United States had experienced terrorist attacks before, but never any that were so devastating.