Today is the 15 anniversary of the attacks of September 11, 2001, when 19 terrorists from al-Qaeda hijacked four airplanes and flew two of them into the World Trade Center in New York City and one into the Pentagon. The fourth, due to resistance by passengers and the crew, crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
At the time, I worked about a mile from the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. I did not learn what was going on until after both WTC towers had been hit (thanks to a co-worker having a portable battery-powered TV, with a screen about three inches wide). I was thus spared the uncertainty after the first plane hit, when people wondered if a horrible accident had occurred, only to realize when the second plane hit that we were indeed under attack. While we could see smoke rising from the Pentagon, there was some confusion due to reports of a nearby gas station being on fire, and a fire occurring on the Mall in Washington, DC. Both of those reports turned out wrong. One co-worker thought that he had seen a plane flying strangely low as he drove into work, and thus may have seen the plane which hit the Pentagon. Eventually, there were reports about a plane crashing in Pennsylvania, and questions about other planes still being in flight, which could possibly be used in more kamikaze-style attacks. Eventually, the media sorted out the details. Nineteen people hijacked four planes with the intention of crashing them into the World Trade Center (which had been bombed eight years earlier), the Pentagon, and one other target, possibly the White House.
Here are some tributes and reflections on 9/11/2001:
From Newsmax, the United States remembers the victims.
From CNN, Hillary Clinton, at the time New York's junior Senator, calls the scene in New York the closest thing to hell that she had ever seen.
From the Rockford Register Star, the 9/11 anniversary is a "valuable reminder of the cost of freedom".
From SlipTalk, 22 facts about 9/11.
From the New York Post, "the wounds that healed and the threat the continues".
From HealthZette, a man who spent weeks at Ground Zero says, "Prepare for the worst."
From Breitbart's Big Government, "a visual remembrance" of 9/11.
From Fox News, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson says that the United States is safer than we were on 9/11, but are "challenged" by lone wolf attacks.
From The Clarion Project, is al-Qaeda's 20-year plan "coming to fruition"?
From Marathon Pundit, a brief tribute, with a picture of a 9/11 memorial.
And from Holger Awakens, we will never forget, including a video.