Millions of Americans sill remember where they were, who they were with, and the emotions they felt when the tragedy of 9/11 unfolded a decade ago. As the 10th anniversary of 9/11 approaches, it’s time to reflect. Never before had TV reports and live coverage made such an impact on America as it did on September 11, 2001. It’s amazing to think that 102 TV minutes (the time between the first strike on the Twin Towers until the collapse of the second tower) changed the world forever.
At 8:46 on 9/11 of 2001, terrorists from the Islamist militant group al-Qaeda flew American Airlines Flight 11 into the World Trade Center’s North Tower on a bright and sunny day in New York City. While the tragedy played out on national TV, no one realized quite how horrific the day would unfold. Good Morning America, the Today Show, CNN and FOX all began their live coverage of 9/11 by reporting that a small plane had accidentally collided into one of the Twin Towers. Matt Lauer from the Today Show was one of the very first TV reporters to question the incident and asked on air…
Was this purely an accident or was it an intentional act?
When United Airlines Flight 175 hit the South Tower at 9:03, TV reporters quickly and correctly made the assumption that the crashes were deliberate and unfathomable terrorist attacks. While interviewing eyewitnesses from the first crash, the second plane crashed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center, causing Matt Lauer to report…
And now you have to move from talk about a possible accident to talk about a something deliberate that has happened here.
Katie Couric added…
This is so shocking to everybody watching. It (flight 175) literally flew itself into the World Trade Center.
For 102 minutes, almost every American was glued to their television as the tragedy of 9/11 played out on national TV. American Airlines Flight 77 flew into the Pentagon at 9:37 am. and Flight 93 crashed in Shanksville at 10:03.
In the meantime, the two Twin Towers collapsed due to structural damage after burning for 56 and 102 minutes. Before the collapses, Americans were horrified to watch dozens of Americans take their own lives by jumping from the Towers. Mayor Rudy Giuliani said that was his worst memory of 9/11 and what spurred him into action on that dreadful day.
September 11, 2011 was the first American tragedy to play out from start to finish on American TV. It’s hard to forget those images of both towers burning and the plumes of smoke spreading across New York City. By the end of that horrific and tragic day, 2819 were dead from 115 different nations, including 343 firemen and paramedics, 23 New York City policemen, and 37 Port Authority officers. It was America’s darkest day since Pearl Harbor and it all played out during 102 TV minutes that changed America forever.
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