For Americans, September 11, 2001 is etched in their memories as the day New York’s two tallest buildings were reduced to rubble in three hours. It was a coordinated hijacking of four commercial aircraft, which were then used to fly to high profile targets in New York and Washington, DC. The deadliest terrorist attack in the history of the United States of America celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. In the early hours of September 11, 2001, a total of 19 hijackers passed through airport security in Boston, Newark and Washington, DC. The attacks began around 8 a.m. when a lone plane crashed into the World Trade Center in New York, followed by a second plane. Then a third plane crashed into the Pentagon, the nerve center of the US armed forces, leaving it to burn and partially collapse. Then a fourth plane was shot down in Pennsylvania.
The attacks killed 2,977 people from 93 nations. 2,753 people were killed in New York, 184 people were killed in the Pentagon while 40 people were killed on Flight 93. The 9/11 terrorists were members of the Islamist extremist group al-Qaeda who planned the attacks since their base in Afghanistan. In the days that followed, many changes took place in the world, including air travel, and this launched what became known as “The War on Terror”.
Here’s how American newspapers reported the 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon.
Palm Beach PostThe front page of September 12, 2001 read “MASSACARE: Terrorists crash planes into Pentagon.”
Detroit Free Press, On September 12, 2001, it reads “AMERICA’S DARKEST DAY: Terrorists will be hunted down, Bush tells the nation.”
The Dallas Morning News, September 12, 2001 reads: ‘War at Home: Shaken Nation Awaits Pentagon Count, Trade Center Attacks; Bush vows to hunt down terrorists and “bring them to justice”.
The New York Times, The headline for September 12, 2001 reads: ‘US Under Attack: Hacked Planes Destroy Twin Towers, Hit Pentagon During Day of Terror’.
The Washington Post, On September 12, 2001, read: “Terrorists Hijack 4 Airliners, Destroy World Trade Center, Hit Pentagon; Hundreds dead.”
Orlando Sentinel, September 12, 2001, the front page reads, “‘Today our nation has seen the evil.’ “Bush: The worst attack on the United States will not break the nation’s resolve. »
The Cleveland Plain Dealership, September 12, 2001 kept things simple. “Terror Strikes Home: Hijackers Ram 2 Airliners Into World Trade Center; 3rd Plane Hits Pentagon, 4th Crashes Near Pittsburgh; Hundreds Die”
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: September 12, 2001: “Outrage: Thousands dead, nation reeling as terrorists strike New York, Washington.”
Denver Post, On September 12, 2001, the front page read: “Darkest Hour: Thousands Die as Hijacked Jets Hit World Trade Center, Pentagon; Bush promises retaliation to terrorists “and those who harbor them”. »
Baltimore sun, September 12, 2001: “Devastation: Hijacked Planes Destroy World Trade Center Towers; A third airliner crashes into the Pentagon; Thousands of people feared death in America’s worst terrorist attacks. »
The Seattle Times, September 12, 2001, had the shortest description. “Terror: Trade Center destroyed by hijacked planes.”
The collapse of the most symbolic twin towers of the United States was a collective shock for the whole world which was still struggling to understand how a coordinated act of terrorism of this magnitude could have occurred on American soil. The period following the attack was one that saw the implementation of an aggressive American foreign policy. President George W Bush pledged to win the war on terror and also resolved to eliminate Al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind the attacks.
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