The World Trade Center Social Policy
It was a clear Tuesday morning. It began like every other day; people got ready to go to work, children were on their way to school, and both young and old were preparing for their travels. Life was going on as normal. However, things quickly began to change. Everything started to go wrong that morning around 8:00am. A group of men who were a part of the Al Qaeda which was led by Osama bin Laden decided that they would make it their goal to hijack a number of planes from both American and United Airlines and then use them to fly into very important buildings on the east side of the United States; specifically New York and Washington D.C. Their targets were the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and ultimately, the White House.
According to The 9/11 Commission Report, this is how that one Tuesday morning went down. The 9/11 Commission Report gives very specific information of what happened during each of the four hijackings. The first group of hijackers was preparing to board a plane from Boston and land in Los Angeles. They were to board American 11. This plane took off around 7:40a.m. The second group of hijackers boarded United Flight 175. The destination of this plane was Los Angeles. The five men who were planning on hijacking this plane were all selected by the airport security to be checked a second time because they were thought to have been suspicious. This plane finally took off around 8:00 a.m. that morning. The third plane that was hijacked Tuesday morning was American Airlines Flight 77 which was scheduled for Los Angeles as well. The hijackers boarded this plane by 7:50a.m. The fourth and final plane was United Flight 93 that was to go from Newark to Los Angeles.
The hijackings all began with American Flight 11. On American Airlines Flight 11, there was a total of eighty-one passengers on the plane, which included the five hijackers. This flight was intended to take off from Boston with a destination of landing in Los Angeles. The pilot of this plane was told by navigation to bring the aircraft to an altitude of 35,000 ft, but something was obviously wrong. The contact between the plane and the ground wasn't registering and the plane wasn't increasing its altitude. The people working on the ground knew that something was not right. This would be the last time that the pilot on this plane would have communication with people on the ground. After that incident occurred, the transponder that was located towards the front of the plane was immediately shut off by the hijackers. Although this malfunctioning of the plane was occurring, it was never even considered at the time by the pilots or the people on the ground that anything like a hijacking was to take place; but they were all wrong. It was believed that the seizing of this plane began around 8:15 that morning.
It all started with two of the hijackers who were sitting towards the front of the plane. They began first by stabbing two of the flight attendants who were towards the front of the plane. Once they accomplished this task, the two hijackers then went straight for the cockpit. It was believed that a passenger who was near the two hijackers that stabbed the two flight attendants was also stabbed at this time. After this happened, the hijackers began to use pepper spray as a way to force all of the passengers towards the back of the plane. They also used a scare tactic of telling all of the passengers that there was a bomb on the plane. Although this seemed so real at the time, it was believed by experts to be false.
While all of this was happening, a woman named Betty who was aboard the plane was able to use a phone to call American Airlines and tell them of everything that was going on during the time of the attack. The phone connection was cut off a couple of times, but this did not stop the woman from trying again. She was able to let the people on the ground know of all the details of this hijacking. After she began complaining to the ground that the plane was flying out of control, it was evident that the plane had changed its course. It had turned around and was going down at a rapid speed. This flight crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center at 8:46am which instantly killed everyone on board. Many Americans thought that this was just an isolated accident; that something happened with the plane and that the pilot simply lost control. But the world would soon learn that this was definitely no accident.
The second plane that was hijacked was United Airlines Flight 175 which was to go from Boston to Los Angeles. There were 56 passengers on this flight. The plane was told to reach an altitude of 31,000 feet. Around 8:45 that morning, the hijackers on this flight began their attack. Both of the pilots were immediately killed and some of the flight attendants were stabbed as well. Air traffic control continually tried to contact this flight but was unable to complete this task. One man who was a passenger on this plane was able to call his father and tell him what was happening and that the hijackers on the plane claimed that they had a bomb with them. The man also told his father to call United Airlines right away and relay everything to them that he had just told him. After this phone call, the plane quickly changed its course, was turned around and headed to the next destination; New York City. The goal for the hijackers on this plane was to fly into the South Tower of the World Trade Center. The hijackers were able to successfully accomplish this goal. They flew the plane into the South Tower of the World Trade Center around 9:00 a.m. that morning which immediately killed everyone who was on board and many innocent people in the building into which they crashed.
The third plane that was scheduled for hijacking on this day was American Airlines Flight 77. It had 58 passengers aboard the plane which included the hijackers. This flight was scheduled to fly from Washington D.C. to Los Angeles. The plane took off around 8:20 a.m. and was able to reach an altitude of 35,000 feet. After about thirty minutes, the plane would have its last routine communication. After this took place, it was believed that this was when the hijacking all began. The hijackers on this plane used similar tactics employed by the hijackers on the earlier planes. They first used pepper spray and at once ordered all of the passengers to the back of the plane. The hijackers quickly changed the course of the plane with the goal of flying straight into the Pentagon.
Many people on the ground that knew of the earlier hijackings that had taken place on had a feeling that something was going terribly wrong on this flight. This assumption was made due to the lack of communication between the plane and air traffic control. Many suspected that this plane was in the process of being hijacked because of what had happened to the two earlier flights that morning. Once this suspicion was established, the Vice President of American Airlines decided that he would order all American Airline planes throughout the country to remain on the ground until told otherwise. While this information was given to all of the country, a young woman by the name of Nancy May who was a passenger on Flight 77; the plane that was currently taken hostage, was able to call her mother and inform her that there was a group of men that was taking over the plane. She calmly asked her mother to quickly call the airlines and tell them of what was happening. Sadly, this was the last time Nancy would ever speak with her mother. A few minutes after Nancy ended the phone call with her mother the plane dropped its altitude at a dangerously fast rate. The plane then suddenly crashed into the Pentagon around 9:45a.m killing everyone on board.
The fourth and thankfully last hijacking that would happen on this day was on United Flight 93.This plane had a mere 37 passengers on it. The flight was scheduled to leave from Newark and then fly into San Francisco. The first half an hour, the flight was normal; meaning everything was going as scheduled. However, around 9:30a.m., the pilot of this plane received an interesting message about previous hijackings that had occurred earlier that day with three other planes. The pilot was confused and didn't understand what exactly was going on. So he asked for clarification of the message. A few moments after the pilot of this plane received an explanation of this message, the hijackers attacked. The plane quickly went from 35,000 feet to approximately 34,300 feet. A bomb threat was made by the hijackers and all the passengers were sent towards the rear of the plane. Many people on this flight were able to call family and friends to inform them of what exactly was happening on their flight. It didn't seem to the passengers that the hijackers really cared that they were using their phones. Something very unlikely however was about to occur on this plane that hadn't happened on any of the earlier hijacked planes.
The passengers that were boarded on this plane decided that they were going to fight back against the terrorists to see if they could try to regain control of the plane and set it back on the right course. One of the hijackers who had taken control and was flying the plane decided to shift the plane back and forth in attempts to try and injure the passengers and throw them off so that they would stop trying to fight back. Because the passengers kept on persisting, the hijackers decided to crash the plane earlier than scheduled. They crashed the plane into an abandoned field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania which killed everyone on board. The hijackers' goal however wasn't to fly the plane into a vacant field; their ultimate goal was to instead fly the plane into the Capital Building or the White House. But because of the passengers had the courage to fight back, the hijackers' plans were significantly altered.
Here are a few interesting facts that were put together as a result of what happened on September 11 2001: The first one is that there were approximately 3,000 people who died or went missing as the result of the multiple attacks on September 11, 2001. This incident included both victims and those who helped out to try and save those that they still could (New York Magazine). The second fact is that the World Trade Center Building 7 mysteriously collapsed that evening; meaning it wasn't hit by a plane like the other buildings were, it just came down out of nowhere (Archives & Engineers for 9/11 Truth). This is very strange because it was one of the strongest buildings; the people who built this building didn't think anything could bring it down. A third interesting fact is that whenever there is a communication loss between the ground and a plane during its flight, fighter jets are quickly informed of it and will then investigate the air around where the plane was scheduled to fly. These investigations happen roughly around 100 times a year, but for some strange reason did not happen on September 11, 2001 until about 2 hours after any of the hijackings occurred (The 9/11 Commission Report). An additional fact that has to do with this tragic event is that before the September 11 attack, the United States had been given warnings of attacks that would happen to the country from a minimum of eleven outside countries (Archives & Engineers for 9/11 Truth). And one final fact is that before September 11 there had been warnings given to two people not to get on a plane on this day. The first warning was giving to a man named John Ashcroft who was an extremely important military officer. He was advised not to fly on September 11. The second warning was given to the mayor of San Francisco of the time, Willie Brown. He was also told to stay clear of airports on this day (Archives & Engineers for 9/11 Truth).
There was a countless number of people who came to help and try to save the hundreds of innocent victims that were in the buildings that had just been killed or seriously injured due to the plane attacks, and many of people lost their lives as a result of it. People spent hours, weeks and months in attempts to try and clean up debris that was scattered across the city of New York. A quick fact is that there were 343 paramedics and firefighters and 37 police officers who died from risking their lives in attempt to help those who were victims of the multiple plane attacks (New York Magazine).
The four hijackings that took place on September 11, 2001 will always be remembered. This single day altered so many lives, the United States and the world forever. Nothing like this has ever happened before to the United States. The only thing that had ever happened that was remotely close to this event occurred in the year 1995. There was been a truck that had bombed a federal building that was located in Oklahoma City which killed a total of 168 people. Sadly, this would not be the only tragic event that would happen in the United States. There were many things that needed to be changed so that nothing like what happened on September 11, 2001 would ever occur again. This incident just shows how simple it was to mess with the old airport security system and easily get away with something this big. There were two major problems that were faced by the Federal Aviation Administration shortly after the incident of 9/11 that immediately needed to be dealt with. The first was the issue of security at airports; simply said the security at airports throughout the United States needed to be increased, and the problem was that many people were now afraid to fly due to what had just happened with the attack on New York City.
One thing that was changed immediately because of what happened was the increase of security at airports across the country of the United States. Homeland Security was given control of the United States security in the air. A 9/11 Commission was also made in attempts to prepare for another attack and try to prevent any other attacks in the future (9/11 Commission Report). A list of forbidden items was quickly published to give people who were traveling an idea of what items they should refrain from bringing onto the plane. Some items on this list include: knives, baseball bats, toy guns razor blades, and much more. There would also be a number police officers that would be observing all of the travelers' behavior and pilots would be armed. The consequences for having one or more of these items in possession are either at least a $1,000 fine or several years that would need to be served in prison. There were many steps that were taken by the federal government to make sure that nothing like this would ever happen again in any United States airport. A step that was immediately taken was that there was a total of $10.6 billion dollars that was invested in homeland security. The goal for this was to make for a much more secure America.
Another thing that was quickly changed after September 11 was the distance between a plane and air traffic control. The distance was to be altered so that it wouldn't be so far up from the people on the ground that the plane is communicating with. This was changed so that the people on the ground could keep somewhat of a "close eye" on the plane and so that the communication between air traffic control and the plane could be monitored at all times.
Soon after the incident of September 11, Congress decided to send a bill to the President that would call for an increased security at airports throughout the United States. The bill included allowing the pilot to lock the doors to the cockpit, all of the passengers' bags would be checked, and there would also be an increase in the number of air marshals that would be boarded on each plane. The Homeland Security Act was also introduced to Congress. If passed, it would allow for discovery and removal of any future terrorists.
What started out as a normal day quickly changed our everyday lives forever. This day will go down in history as one to never forget. There were many changes that were quickly made to airport security throughout the world to insure that nothing like this would ever happen again. Homeland Security is still refining and appear to be loosing up a bit of the amount of security that is used in airports.
Article name: The World Trade Center Social Policy essay, research paper, dissertation