The World Trade Center in New York

Photo of The World Trade Center in New York, New York
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz
Photo of The World Trade Center in New York, New York
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz
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Photo of The World Trade Center in New York, New York
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz
Photo of The World Trade Center in New York, New York
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz
Photo of The World Trade Center in New York, New York
Photo of The World Trade Center in New York, New York
Photograph © Larry Harris
Photo of The World Trade Center in New York, New York
Photo of The World Trade Center in New York, New York
Photo of The World Trade Center in New York, New York
Photo of The World Trade Center in New York, New York

Robin Weiner/WirePix
Photo of The World Trade Center in New York, New York
Robin Weiner/WirePix

Robin Weiner/WirePix
Photo of The World Trade Center in New York, New York
Robin Weiner/WirePix

Robin Weiner/WirePix
Photo of The World Trade Center in New York, New York
Relatives, friends and colleagues of people who died during the World Trade Center attacks assemble around the "Circle of Honor" at Ground Zero, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2002. (Robin Weiner/Medialink)
Photo of The World Trade Center in New York, New York
Relatives of people who died walk down to the "Circle of Honor", Sept. 11, 2002. One by one, the 2,801 names on the city list of the dead were read during the morning ceremony. (Robin Weiner/Medialink)
Photo of The World Trade Center in New York, New York
Representatives from various organizations surround the "Circle of Honor" at Ground Zero during a ceremony marking the one year anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks. (Robin Weiner/Medialink)
Photo of The World Trade Center in New York, New York
Bagpipe-and-drum units march down West Street towards Ground Zero for the first anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in Lower Manhattan. (Robin Weiner/Medialink)
Photo of The World Trade Center in New York, New York
Relatives, friends and colleagues of people who died during the World Trade Center attacks assemble around the "Circle of Honor" at Ground Zero, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2002. (Robin Weiner/Medialink)
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The World Trade Center

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The World Trade Center is a collection of buildings in lower Manhattan. Towers number one and two (the "Twin Towers") were considered the tallest in the world by some people. It depends on how you define "tallest." Including the antenna, tower number one was 521 meters tall. However, including the antenna may also bring building-less antennae and towers into the running, which really mucks things up. The center was constructed on the site of the old Hudson and Manhattan rail terminal. The original plan called for a single 150-story tower, but this design was abandoned as impractical.

The twin towers were unusual in that the outer cladding of the building actually carried a large part of the load for the structure. Each floor was suspended from the external walls, rather than the other way around, which is common in most skyscrapers where internal pillars provide the strength, and the walls merely keep the wind out. While intended to provide strength while maximizing rentable office space, this actually proved to be a lifesaving innovation. When each tower was hit by hijacked jumbo jets in 2001 the planes punched holes in the side and did extensive damage inside. But the buildings stayed standing for some time. It was actually the heat from the fire that caused the buildings to collapse. The jets were fully loaded with fuel for transcontinental flight, providing a massive amount of fuel to feed the fire. When the heat inside exceeded 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit the steel holding the floors to the walls weakened, causing each floor to collapse onto the one below. The result was the buildings imploded upon themselves, rather than fell over knocking over countless other buildings in a literal domino-effect.

The following buildings were partially or completely destroyed in the attack:

  • One World Trade Center (north tower)
  • Two World Trade Center (south tower)
  • Four World Trade Center
  • Five World Trade Center
  • Six World Trade Center
  • Seven World Trade Center
  • The Marriott Hotel
  • One Liberty Plaza
  • Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church

The following buildings suffered major damage:

  • The Millennium Hilton Hotel
  • One World Financial Center
  • Two World Financial Center
  • Three World Financial Center
  • The Federal Building
  • Banker's Trust Building

Quick Facts
  • Height to tip of Tower One television mast: 1,727 feet
  • Height to roof of Tower One: 1,368 feet
  • Height to roof of Tower Two: 1,362 feet
  • Steel used in construction: 181,400 metric tons
  • Windows: 43,600
  • Elevators: 198
  • Doorknobs: 40,000+
  • Floor space: 10,000,000 square feet
  • Parking spaces: 2,000
  • June 9, 1965: Demolition work begins to make way for the World Trade Center.
  • August 5, 1966: Groundbreaking
  • December, 1970: The first tower (One World Trade Center) is completed.
  • July 19, 1971: Two World Trade Center is topped out.
  • April 4, 1973: A ribbon cutting ceremony is held to open the twin towers.
  • 1974: Construction is completed.
  • December 15, 1975: The observatory opens to the public.
  • February 26, 1993: A truck bomb is detonated in the garage beneath Tower One. Six people are killed and more than 1,000 hurt.
  • September 11, 2001: The Twin Towers are destroyed by terrorists. They hijacked two jumbo jets from Boston and slammed one into each of the towers, killing thousands of people. A third hijacked jet was rammed into the Pentagon in Washington, DC; and a fourth, believed to be headed to the White House, crashed in a rural area 80 miles east southeast of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
    • 8:45am - Hijacked American Airlines Boeing 767 hits the north tower.
    • 9:03am - Hijacked United Airlines Boeing 767 hits south tower.
    • 9:50am - South tower collapses.
    • 10:30am - North tower collapses.
    • 11:40am - New York Fire Department pulls out of Seven World Trade Center as fire rages uncontrolled through the skyscraper.
    • 5:25pm - Seven World Trade Center collapses.
  • September 14, 2001: There is serious talk among politicians and New York City leaders about rebuilding the Twin Towers better, and possibly bigger, than before.
  • September 25, 2001: One of the last remaining large sections of the building's exoskeleton is demolished. Part of it is saved by the city for possible use in a memorial, museum, or monument.
  • October 22, 2001: The 53-story One Liberty Plaza reopens.
  • December 1, 2001: Britain's SR International Business Insurance Company, Limited is suing over the 11 September, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. SR International is one of the companies that insured the Twin Towers. It wants a court to rule that the attacks were a single incident, and not two separate attacks. If successful, the companies will only have to pay the developer $3,600,000,000.00 for the single attack, rather than $7,200,000,000.00 if it is ruled to be two attacks. Larry Silverstein plans to use the money to rebuild the World Trade Center complex. $3.6 billion is enough to do it, but obviously $7.2 billion would provide more flexibility.
  • December 4, 2001: CNN reports that the $300,000,000.00 donated to the September 11th Fund is going to some organizations that the donors might not expect. Among those getting the money: The Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra, AIDS activist organization Mother's Voices; the Jennifer Muller modern dance group; The Institute for the Development of Earth Awareness, and the performing arts group Three Legged Dog. The CNN report featured a screen from Three Legged Dog's web site showing a dominatrix.
  • December 12, 2001: Questions are raised about the floor joists in the World Trade Center. Tests done in the 1990's suggest that they were not adequately fireproofed. The engineer who supervised construction of the World Trade Center insists the fireproofing met the highest standards and was not a factor in the collapse of the towers.
  • December 17, 2001: One of the mysteries of the 11 September, 2001 terrorist attacks on New York may have been solved. Engineers have puzzled over why the 47-story 7 World Trade Center collapsed seven hours after the Twin Towers fell. It turns out, the culprit may have been the mayor's emergency command bunker inside. The New York Times reports that the building had several hidden caches of diesel fuel to power generators for the command bunker. It was stored in and under the building and may have caught fire, weakening the structure in the same way that thousands of gallons of jet fuel weakened the steel in the Twin Towers. According to the Times, there was a 6,000 gallon tank on the second floor, and four tanks holding up to 36,000 gallons of fuel in the basement.
  • December 18, 2001: To honor those killed in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, President Bush created a new holiday. September 11th will now be known as Patriot Day.
  • December 18, 2001: A group of relatives of those killed in the September, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center have chosen to blame the building, instead of the terrorists, for the deaths. They are demanding that the Federal Emergency Management Agency launch an investigation into the event, and the design and construction of the Twin Towers. In their opinion, the towers should have been designed to withstand the impact of a pair of jumbo jets and the intense heat created by the burning of thousands of gallons of aviation fuel. Some engineers believe the Twin Towers fireproofing was inadequate. Others say it met strict safety standards and no fireproofing could withstand a blaze that hot raging for as long as it did. Some relatives believe the plane is to blame and should have withstood a 500-mile-an-hour impact.
  • December 19, 2001: After more than three months, the rubble of the World Trade Center stopped smoking. New York Governor George Pataki announced that the fires are finally out. A fire truck remained on the scene as hot spots continue to flare up when debris is moved.
  • December 20, 2001: The number of people killed and missing in the attack on the World Trade Center is lowered. The tally is now 2,789. Early estimates were as high as 6,700 but that number has been falling because many names were duplicated, or the people in question turned up elsewhere.
  • December 20, 2001: A New Hampshire woman has become the first to sue an airline for the September, 2001 terrorist attacks. USA Today reports Ellen Mariani is taking United Airlines to court. She claims it was the airline's negligence that led to the death of her husband when the jet he was on was taken over by hijackers and slammed into the World Trade Center.
  • December 21, 2001 - CBS News reports the U.S. Government has come up with a mathematical formula for compensating the families of the victims of the September, 2001 terrorist attacks. Essentially, the government uses the victim's annual salary, adds an amount for pain and suffering, subtracts aid already received in the form of life insurance government assistance or pensions. The final amount is tax-free, and recipients are allowed to keep any private charitable assistance they receive. The lowest amount anyone would receive is $300,000.00. The most: $3,800,000.00. The average award is expected to be $1,600,000.00. In order to collect, the recipients must agree not to sue anyone.
  • December 25, 2001: The United Nations estimates that the attacks on America and their economic ramifications put 24,000,000 people around the world out of work, and pushed another 15,000,000 deeper into poverty.
  • December 30, 2001: A platform was erected overlooking the recovery site. Tourists are be allowed onto the platform for viewing sessions 400 at a time.
  • January 10, 2002: Recovery crews reach a milestone. 1,000,000 tons of debris have been removed.
  • January 10, 2002: Crews at the World Trade Center site in New York have uncovered a PATH commuter train in the rubble. It was one of several buried when the twin towers collapsed. No one was on board at the time because the train was out of service. When jets hit the towers, the subway and PATH stations were evacuated and all of the trains sent back to New Jersey.
  • January 14, 2002: City Hall Park reopens to the public.
  • January 14, 2002: Crain's New York Business reports the owner of Seven World Trade Center has decided to rebuild the 47-story building.
  • January 15, 2002: Controversy arises over a World Trade Center memorial statue. Fox News Channel reports it would depict the famous scene shot by a New Jersey newspaper photographer when three New York City firefighters standing on a smoldering pile of debris raised an American flag. The proposed statue would depict a white man, a black man, and an Hispanic man. In reality, it was three white firefighters who carried out the act. Critics say it's an attempt to rewrite history, a slap in the face of those men, and an example of political correctness gone too far.
  • January 17, 2002: Minnesota Public Radio reports that much of the debris from the collapse of the World Trade Center will be recycled. A company is picking through the rubble at the Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island. Some of the steel is so dense and strong that one linear foot weighs over 1,000 pounds. It will be melted down and used for things like automobiles and other buildings.
  • January 29, 2002: The New York Post reports that a dozen Port Authority employees have been charged with stealing almost $20,000.00 from relief funds set up for the survivors of the September 11th terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. The Port Authority workers told aid workers that their homes were damaged and that they were unable to work since the attacks, when in reality they were gainfully employed.
  • February 10, 2002: Five months after the Twin Towers collapsed, the bodies of five Port Authority police officers have been found. They were helping an obese woman escape from the World Trade Center when the building collapsed, killing them all.
  • February 11, 2002: A study of air samples taken in lower Manhattan in the weeks after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center shows record pollution. Much of the harmful particles are sulfur and silicon which became airborne when tons of jet fuel and glass burned. According to the University of California, the levels were even higher than those experienced by Gulf War troops who later complained of mysterious ailments.
  • March 7, 2002: CNN reports that there are concerns about the speed of the World Trade Center cleanup. It is currently ahead of schedule, and some say it's happening too fast. They fear that evidence is being destroyed as the buildings' remains are melted down for scrap.
  • March 11, 2002 - 8:46am: Exactly six months after the terrorist attacks a memorial service is held. At dusk, two powerful beams of light are illuminated from 88 bulbs to create a pair of shafts rising into the sky as a memorial to those who died.
  • April 30, 2002: Plans are bring drawn up for rebuilding the area now known as "Ground Zero." Six different plans incorporating a memorial, office, retail, and mobility are due by July. A final plan will be put together by December, 2002.
  • May 1, 2002: A report from the Federal Emergency Management Agency concludes that the strength of the Twin Towers helped save thousands of lives. The report says it may never be possible to build a fireproof building, but applauds the towers and their creators for the fact that they managed to stay standing as long as they did even after being hit by passenger jets.
  • May 13, 2002: American Express employees return to the World Financial Center.
  • May 21, 2002: The New Mexico Business Journal reports that two steel beams from the World Trade Center have been donated to Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Albuquerque. They will be used to construct a $100,000 bell tower as a memorial to the victims of the September 11th attacks.
  • May 30, 2002 - 10:29am: In a solemn ceremony, cleanup ends at the former site of the World Trade Center. Workers used rakes to comb the dirt for any last pieces of the victims of the September 11th terrorist attacks, but 850 people are still missing and will probably never be found. In all, 20,000 body parts were recovered. 1,800,000 tons of rubble were removed. The last steel beam was cut down and draped with an America flag as it left the site, symbolizing those who had been lost, but not found. The beam and a procession of New York police and firemen moved through the streets of lower Manhattan while crowds of people watched in person, and millions watched on televisions around the world.
  • June 14, 2002: An American flag found in ther debris of the World Trade Center is returned to New York for Flag Day after being taken into orbit on the space shuttle Endeavour.
  • June 24, 2002: The last of the body recovery crews leaves Ground Zero. All hope of finding any more human remains is lost.
  • July 7, 2002: A detailed review of the events of September 11, 2001 shows that the communications network used by New York firefighters during the World Trade Cneter attacks failed repeatedly. Police helicopters warned that the north tower would collapse 21 minutes before it happened, but that information naver made it to fire department personnel, who lost their lives when the tower came down.
  • July 1, 2002: The deadline for proposals for the redevelopment of the World Trade Center site.
  • July 15, 2002: The Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island is closed. It was the site where rubble from the World Trade Center was processed for evidence and human remains. A solemn ceremony is held to mark the occasion.
  • July 16, 2002: Six plans for rebuilding the World Trade Center are unveiled. None of the buildings are as tall as the originals.
  • July 20, 2002: 4,000 people gather at the Javits Convention Center to see the proposals for the new World Trade Center. They don't like what they see, calling the ideas boring, uninspiring, and unworthy of the site's historic legacy. Designers say they had little choice since the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey required that all of the rentable floor space from the original center be recreated.
  • July 21, 2002: The people leading the rebuilding of the World Trade Center decide to re-think the requirement that all of the commercial space be recreated.
  • July 24, 2002: KMBC Television in Kansas City reports that a two-inch replica of a Kansas CIty Chiefs football has been found in the rubble by police sergeant Michel Mayer. It is believed to have come from someone's desk in the World Trade Center, and has now been returned to the football team.
  • July 24, 2002: The New York Times reports that in spite of grants and cheaper rent the city is still having a hard time keeping businesses from moving out of lower Manhattan.
  • July 25, 2002: The House of Representatives votes to hold a special Congressional session in New York on September 6, 2002.
  • July 26, 2002: The last of 5,000 yards of cement is poured for the new subway station beneath Ground Zero. Contractors worked around the clock to get the job done ahead of schedule and reap a $3,000,000 bonus from the federal government.
  • July 29, 2002: After being soundly thrashed for having uninteresting ideas for rebuilding the World Trade Center, the competition has been opened up to more architects.
  • July 30, 2002: CBS News reports that millions of dollars given to the Red Cross to aid victims and families of the September 11th terrorist attacks will never make it to the people who deserve it. The problem is that the money was given to local Red Cross offices across the country, and quite a few kept it for themselves. Blame is place on poor record keeping, and the ability of the local offices to selfishly "code" national donations as being for local emergencies.
  • August 4, 2002: The New York Times reports that the real estate company that controls the World Trade Center lease lost $8,200,000,000 in the attacks.
  • August 5, 2002: 66 people are arrested, dozens more are charged and thousands expected to be charged with fraud. When communications were knocked out during the attacks, the Municipal Credit Union allowed people to make ATM withdrawals without verifying the amount available in their accounts. Some people took advantage of the situation to the tune of $15,000,000. These are obviously not the brightest people in the world, since they took money out of their own accounts and since it was an employee credit union, the bank knows where they live, where they work, and how to find them.
  • August 6, 2002: The City of New York unveils its plans for September 11, 2002 -- the first anniversary of the terrorist attacks. They include bagpipers marching to ground zero, a visit from President Bush, and the reading of the name of every person killed in the terrorist attacks. Ideas from people all over the world were taken into account. The family members of those killed will lay roses at ground zero -- an idea from someone in Australia. And at the suggestion of someone in Illinois, there will be concerts at sunset in all five boroughs.
  • August 15, 2002: A plaque is unveiled containing the names of all 2,801 people who died at the World Trade Center. The "Wall of Rememberance" overlooks Ground Zero.
  • August 20, 2002: The number of people killed at the World Trade Center has been revised to 2,819. Four names were dropped from the list. One was a woman who was listed under both her maiden and married name. The other three are just names with no contact information for the medical examiner to follow up on.
  • August 21, 2002: The National Institute of Standards and Technology begins a two-year test of the beams recovered at Ground Zero. The government agency is spending $23,000,000 to analyze 100 pieces recovered and figure out why the towers fell.
  • August 22, 2002: WCBS Television reports the governors of New York and New Jersey will rename Newark International Airport in New Jersey "Liberty International Airport" in honor of those killed in the terrorist attacks. It eventually ends up with the name "Newark Liberty International Airport" and keeps its EWR designator.
  • August 26, 2002: Two more names are removed from the list of the deceased. One man was found in a hospital suffering from amnesia. Another was found in a mental institution.
  • September 3, 2002: The New York Times reports that lower Manhattan is now more vulnerable to lightning strikes because of the destruction of the World Trade Center. Previously, the huge towers would ground lightning strikes for a wide part of the island. With the buildings gone, others towers are being hit that were never hit before.
  • September 10, 2002: The Standard and Poors futures index closes at 911.00.
  • September 11, 2002: The city, the nation, and the world pause to remember the terrorist attacks one year ago. Tens of thousands of public and private ceremonies are held from New York to Russia to Antarctica.
  • September 11, 2002: The New York State Lottery Pick Three numbers on this date are 9, 1, and 1.
  • September 15, 2002: Three subway stations closed by the collapse of the Twin Towers have reopened. The South Ferry, Rector Street, and Cortlandt Street stations were severely damaged. Repairs cost $100,000,000.
  • December 9, 2002: The National Institute of Standards and Technology asks the public to submit copies of all of their World Trade Center collapse photographs and videos so they can be studied to determine exactly how and why the towers failed.
  • December 25, 2002: WABC Television reports that some of the beams from the World Trade Center may be melted down and used in the bow of the Navy's new U.S.S. New York, under construction in Mississippi. The steel has already been dug up from the Fresh Kills landfill and is being tested to see if it is usable.
  • February 27, 2003: The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey choose the design by Studio Daniel Libeskind of Berlin, Germany to replace the World Trade Center. It will erect what was then considered to be the world's tallest building -- a 1,776-foot-tall spire highlighted by a dramatic vertical garden in the sky. The Libeskind design was judged to be best overall based on 12 criteria including price, public response, vision, connectivity, public space, and how the victims of the September 11th attacks would be memorialized. That memorial design was a large open pit representing Ground Zero and the "bathtub" where the remains of many of the victims were found. The bathtub is a subterranean concrete structure designed to keep the water from flooding the basement of the World Trade Center. But it became sacred ground to many as more and more bodies were pulled from the debris.
  • March 17, 2003: The Sacramento Bee reports that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was wrong when it told people the air near Ground Zero in New York was safe to breathe after the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks. The newspaper cites an internal E.P.A. investigation that found the agency used a scale that would have allowed air 100 times more contaminated than current safety ratings to be considered safe. The Mount Sinai Medical Center has since found that more than half of the people working at Ground Zero suffered from breathing problems a year later.
  • April 24, 2003: New York governor George Pataki outlined his timeline for progress on the rebuilding of the World Trade Center's twin towers, now called the Freedom Tower. He believed the steel superstructure of the tower would be complete by September 11, 2006. His vision also included the opening of the PATH and Fulton transit centers by that date, and significant work on the World Trade Center memorial. The New York Times reported that the governor wants his office to be the first tenant in the new skyscraper, which he believed would be finished in 2008.
  • May 8, 2003: A judge rules that Osma bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, and others owe the families of two World Trade Center victims $104,000,000.
  • May 8, 2003: The New York Times reports that the twin towers of the World Trade Center may never have been tested for fire. Basic tests are needed to ensure that a skyscraper is safe. In spite of decades of assurances from the Port Authroity of New York and New Jersey, federal investigators believe that fire tests were not done on the towers. The massive fire is believed to be the root cause for the collapse of the two towers -- not the impact of a pair of jumbo jets.
  • June 24, 2003: Hugo Martinez becomes the first person to die at the World Trade Center site since the September 11, 2001 attacks. The construction worker was crushed to death by a piece of steel.
  • September 8, 2003: The last firefighter killed in the World Trade Center collapse was laid to rest. Michael Ragusa's remains were never found, so a vial of his blood donated to a bone marrow center was placed in a coffin for the funeral. In all, 343 firefighters lost their lives when the Twin Towers came down.
  • April 29, 2004: A judge rules that the pair of attacks on the Twin Towers was one event, and thus the owner can only collect on his insurance policy once.
  • July 4, 2004: Groundbreaking for the twin towers' replacement, The Freedom Tower.
  • December 16, 2004: The World Trade Center victims memorial was revised. The plan included a Memorial Hall between the reflecting pools to mark the footprints of the former twin towers. It also included a grove of oak trees with a clearing for memorial services, and public access to the stumps of the columns that once held the Twin Towers aloft. The memorial was expected to cost $500,000.00 and be completed by 2009.
  • April 18, 2008: Pope Benedict XVI blessed the ground where the World Trade Center's twin towers once stood.
  • July 10, 2008: A New York Supreme Court ruling restored Sneha Anne Philip's name to the list of people killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, making the number of people who died at the World Trade Center officially 2,751.
  • January 16, 2009: A man who died from cancer he got from exposure to toxic dust during the World Trade Center collapse was classified as a homicide and added to the list of those killed. The total number of people killed in terrorist attacks on New York was updated to 2,752.
  • Engineers: Worthington, Skilling, Helle and Jackson
  • There was a cafeteria on the 44th floor called The Sky Dive.
  • Each tower had postal workers stationed every eight floors to handle incoming and outgoing mail.
  • It is estimated that the jets hit the buildings going between 470 and 590 miles per hour.
  • It takes 99 days to put out the fire.
  • 18 people are pulled from the rubble of the World Trade Center still alive.
  • The city of New York loses 13,000,000 square feet of office space -- more than all the office space in Miami, and more than the entire space of downtown Houston.
  • 83,000 people lose their jobs in the ensuing economic turmoil.
  • 105 children never see their fathers because they were conceived before, and born after the terrorist attacks.
Stacking Diagram
Did You Know?
  • The builders of the World Trade Center claimed the twin towers were the first buildings with a robotic window cleaning system.
  • Famous architect Philip Johnson believed the twin towers ruined New York's skyline.
  • People against the World Trade Center development sued to have it stopped believing the project would cost the Port Authority its tax-exempt status.
  • The city's television stations fought to have the twin towers stopped because they would interfere with TV signals. They took the fight to congress and the FCC. The FCC decided it didn't have jurisdiction over construction projects. The developers agreed to have the transmitters moved to the twin towers in exchange for getting the buildings approved by the city, but in 1973 tried unsuccessfully to back out of the deal.
  • "12/29/01 - May we never forget those lost here and may they always rest in peace. Bernard B. Kerlik NYPD"

    -Graffiti scrawled on a wooden railing of the observation platform at Ground Zero by New York Police Commissioner Bernard Kerlik.

  • "We will never build where the towers stood "

    -New York Governor George Pataki, July 1, 2002

  • "...I sometimes don't want to believe it really happened. The only thing is I can't forget was the sound of the steel just before the first tower fell. I knew what was happening at just that moment, even though my view was obstructed my the building directly across from me. I was on the 22nd floor roof, I had just returned from the front of the WTC where a firemen told me he didn't need my help but to just get out of the street and get away from the building. I went back to 2 Chase where the men were still up on the roof and was telling them to get off the roof when I heard the sound of steel riping. I knew the building was coming down and said, 'Oh My God.' When I looked over the roof wall I could believe the cloud of dust and debris that was already coming up the building toward me. We all ran and just made it inside the roof door! We'll it got crazy from then on in! What really surprised me was that people didn't panic the way I thought they would. Even later that day walking almost 200 blocks home on the FDR Drive people were in shock and disbelief, but it wasn't panic.Hundreds of thousands of people on the FDR Drive walking in a way I can't explain. We were at war and under attack and people helping each other just trying to get home and let friends and loved ones know they were alright. We are a powerful nation and that day showed me something about this nation, we can survive anything!"

    -Louis Briendel, The Bronx

  • "About 15 floors down from the top, it looks like it's glowing red... It's inevitable."

    -Aviation 14 (New York City police helicopter)

  • "I don't think this has too much longer to go. I would evacuate all people within the area of that second building."

    -Another police pilot.

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Your Thoughts

There are 204 comments.

  My condolences to all the family members, colleagues and friends of those who were the victims of this brutal attack.

Ezi Suhaini Idrus - Sunday, October 4th, 2009 @ 12:07pm  

  I like the Twin Towers, and i miss the twin towers.

Christian - Wednesday, September 9th, 2009 @ 4:08pm  

   I think about all people who died on sept 11th years go bye but you all will be in my prayers ......god bless x

anne walsh - Monday, September 7th, 2009 @ 6:22pm  

  WTC Respect, and to all who were lost on that tragic day. We've all been left with bad memories, but we still have all the good ones to remember. Bless the families to all of the fallen heroes.

Christopher S. Ligety - Friday, June 5th, 2009 @ 3:24am  

  I visited the Twin Towers 2 weeks before it went down, and it was sad to see them collapse.

Anna - Tuesday, March 31st, 2009 @ 12:44pm  

  To the heros of THE WORLD TRADE CENTRE, those that walked away, and to those that slipped away you are never far from my thoughts... My thoughs are also with family & friends of the 9/11 attacks, The heros on flight 93, and unsung heros of 9/11 GOD BLESS...

Gary - Saturday, March 14th, 2009 @ 10:23am  

  This was a horrible thing my heart goes out to all of the families,,

Priscilla Concepcion - Thursday, March 5th, 2009 @ 8:10pm  

  RIP all you brave people ..

james mcleary - Thursday, October 2nd, 2008 @ 6:19am  

  As a Retired Soldier, I watched the events fold on that horrific day. I was flabergasted and wanted revenge. After those thoughts, my family and I prayed for those who were there in that peril. as ADMIRAL YAMAMOTA said "ALL WE DID WAS WAKE A SLEEPING GIANT AND FILL HIM WITH A TERRIBLE RESOLVE." Those terrorists did precisely that. I pray everyday for those who perished that day, shed a tear for them and hope that we catch those infadels. "GOD BLESS AMERICA AND THOSE WHO MAKE AMERICA, AMERICA!!"

Scott Miller - Saturday, September 27th, 2008 @ 11:53am  

  For all those who died that day, please, for the sake of America, the ppl who we lost that day and the events to follow, please take a moment of silence in front of your national flag, and thank you for supporting the US

Quinn - Friday, September 12th, 2008 @ 5:35pm  

  it being 7 years since 9/11 i still think about it all of the time and i will never be able to forget about it

Dion - Thursday, September 11th, 2008 @ 2:30pm  

  i was in the world trade centres in august of 2001 and i am going back there for the 1st time sice in dec of this year. i am not looking forward to seeing the sight. god bless the people of new york and god will always be with all have great strenght and courage to carry on. god be with you all.

michelle - Tuesday, August 12th, 2008 @ 7:07am  

  I delivered a load of rebar to Ground Zero. I was not prepared for the wave of emotions the broke against me. Pain, anger and, yes, hate.While being unloaded, A victim was found.Work stopped while he was recovered. I started sobbing and could not stop.One of the workers came over and touched his hardhat to mineand held me until I got ahold of myself.

Ed Dishmon - Monday, July 21st, 2008 @ 1:00pm  

  Like the many postings below, I too think that the buildings should have been rebuilt. I visited the observation deck in 1976 and many times since. My last visit with my sons was in 1999. The experience of putting your toes up against the floor to ceiling glass windows made you feel like you were flying. Having the second tower you could see offered a sense of scale was an important part of the experience. I liked the bold parallel lines of the stainless steel ribs that soared to the top and created a stylized Gothic arch two stories above the plaza. You could see these buildings from just about everywhere in the NYC area. I miss being able to see it in the distance as you looked downtown on Sixth from Mid-town.

Richard Preston - Sunday, June 15th, 2008 @ 1:51pm  

  Having just visited New York for the first time and visited ground zero I have to say what an emotional moment this was for me. Nearly 7 years on this act of cowardice and treachery to fellow human beings is not forgotton or forgiven. I look forward to revisiting when the freedom tower is complete. Together we will stand united against these yellow spined freaks.

ele - Friday, May 16th, 2008 @ 5:57pm  

  It is really sad and if you dont think of it being sad, you could of been the one dying in pain, and jumping out windows, and even dying without seeing your kids, wife, husband, family, or even your best friend. Well I hope they rebuild the building. Im sorry for your friends and family that died in the building.

Daniel Wood - Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008 @ 5:35pm  

  We MUST rebuild the towers and they must be exactly the same height and they should be built to the exact same size to show those sissies in the middle east that we CANT BE DESTROYEDGOD BLESS AMERICA and the people of new york city

Jane - Friday, April 18th, 2008 @ 1:01pm  

  I am sorry to be never able to never stand on these great structures but I am more sorry for the loss of life.

Philip Hamlin - Saturday, April 5th, 2008 @ 8:05pm  

  My wife and I visited New York and thoroughly enjoyed that magnificant city that never sleeps. It is hard to imagine what the city now looks like after 9/11 and my heart goes out to you. Move on and rebuild as you are doing, bigger, stronger and indeed impressive. God bless you all. John

John Symons - Sunday, February 10th, 2008 @ 7:15pm  

  remarkable building, to be remembered forever and always. god bless america, and the people that died

Jake - Thursday, January 17th, 2008 @ 5:56am  

  i have been to new york many times but all after 9/11. i remember seeing those magnificient towers shadowing over the big apple. they were an awesome sight to behold. i only ever wished i could of seen the for real. the new york skyline will never be the same without them. i am an irish male wishing to be a proud american . god bless u all and never let those terrorist win.

john - Thursday, December 27th, 2007 @ 3:59pm  

  it was really hard for me to believe but may God bless all those that lost their lives in 9/11.may their soul rest in peace.AMEN

obum - Wednesday, December 26th, 2007 @ 5:40am  

  My condolence to all families and vicims involved on this situation

Nik - Wednesday, December 5th, 2007 @ 9:30am  

  god has a plan for us all that day was filled with pain and horror,one that we will never should forget to the people who lost family members that day my heart goes out to you an i hope that somehow you will be able to carry on with your life in a way that would make lost one feel proud of you God Bless

Bobby Bath - Tuesday, October 30th, 2007 @ 1:27pm  

  Still i heard the voice of the persons who were the witnesses of the terrible.....blast.I pray to God that... Those terrible history may not repeat again.

shweta - Monday, October 15th, 2007 @ 7:05am  

  This act will not be forgotten, and whilst there are thsoe who may squabble over the legalities of our nation's current wars one thing remains strong, freedom will win - Britian and America have fought side by side for 70 years against those who persecute and discriminate, those who control and manipulate and those who commit unspeakable acts and masacre those because of their beliefs or colour of their skin. Liberty and Democracy are choices - but choices which everyone should have the right to make! Long live America and Long live Britain - together defending the ideals of freedom!

Andrew Walker - Monday, August 13th, 2007 @ 7:58pm  

  Beautiful presentation but must say what a day. i sat there watching many individuals removed from what life had to offer. god has a plan, he has his reasons

Jacob - Saturday, July 21st, 2007 @ 5:01pm  

  i think that the people whe comitted this act should pay. we should fight back againt these sick people! we will win this war no matter what!

hayden palmer - Sunday, July 15th, 2007 @ 4:54am  

  9/11 was such a tragic day. I say build the SAME two towers, prove to everyone that they can never take them down.

Jennifer - Thursday, June 14th, 2007 @ 5:27pm  

  we still shed a tear for Americas loss on that terrible day.We must all hold our heads up and be proud of our great nations.Great Britain will always stand by you America!God bless America God save the Queen

ernie - Monday, May 28th, 2007 @ 9:11am  

  I think this act of terrorism is disgusting act of socciety from that time when i heard this news. Till this time I feel very bad about it, I cant just believe its in true, just I wantend to which you that GOD BLESS YOU NEW YORK. We pray forever.

Dayanand sutar - Sunday, May 20th, 2007 @ 7:29am  

  this is really sad i wish it didnt happen it is sad i have the movie and i havent had a chance to watch it yet but i probably will watch it this weekend

ashley biddlecome - Friday, May 4th, 2007 @ 1:42pm  

  9/11 is a day that will NEVER be forgotten. I remember feeling numb and couldnīt believe my eyes when I watched tha attack on TV that very day. It was like watching a movie yet it was actually happening in real life, what a horrible nightmare. My heart goes out to the people who lost their lives and their loved ones. God bless.

Heba - Tuesday, April 10th, 2007 @ 11:39pm  

  i loved those twin tower i cried when i seen that happend so sad god bless america and the twin towers i love you new york

jose gonza;ez - Wednesday, March 28th, 2007 @ 12:32pm  

  I will never forget that tragic day of September 11,2001. Even though it sickens me everytime I look at the NYC skyline and to feel the pain and emptyness, I feel that the Freedom tower will be a great symbol of American freedom and our will power to stand up to those skumbag Arabs that did this. I went to NYC twice and I went to the WTC. I went all the way up Tower 1, to the roof, and just to know that I will probably never have a moment like that again makes me sad. God bless America and to all those who died on 9/11 and those who are curently fighting for our Freedom!

Eddie - Sunday, March 11th, 2007 @ 1:16am  

  This building was outstanding. Should have been re built the same, just to show the world that the cowards that destroyed the WTC cant ever win.

Brian - Wednesday, February 28th, 2007 @ 7:42pm  

  went to the site july 2006. cried me a river of tears for the brave people lost and for the ones who lived. why build a new tower leave it as a garden.

margie - Saturday, February 24th, 2007 @ 5:08am  

  Like most things in life can be repaired. Cars, Computers, Children, Adults and yes-even buildings. We can over take it (the problem) or the problem can over take us. You have the People, The Equipment, Knowledge, Money and the WILL to WIN. You can and should. God Bless

Dan - Thursday, February 15th, 2007 @ 9:18pm  

  I feel the same way as everyone else does. Why did the terrorists do that? It accomplished nothing. Absolutely nothing!

Daniel Choe - Wednesday, January 31st, 2007 @ 4:48pm  

  My Great Uncle helped construct this masterpiece and not only do i love the building, I love how a nation responded to the evil of a few freaks who think that the us is bad. Who knew two giant pillars of concrete could create so much patriotism in Amercia. Never Forget 9/11

Tom - Saturday, January 20th, 2007 @ 12:15pm  

  Even as a Canadian i have deep feelings for what happened on the dark day of September 11, 2001 in New York City. I still get a lump in my throat today when looking at images of the twin towers that had smoke billowing out of them like they were two giant matches!! I was so moved with all the volunteer rescue workers that help clean the rubble & search for bodies....they truly are the hand of god!! But I still think of those that parished in on 9/11 & how inicent these people were & how they didnt deserve to die the way they did...all I can say is KARMA!!! ~RIP~ to those that passed on that day!!

Marianne Clayton - Monday, January 8th, 2007 @ 7:24pm  

  The WTC was a great building. But the new Freedom Tower will be a great tribute for all who has lost their lives on 9-11

pieter bergsma - Tuesday, January 2nd, 2007 @ 11:28am  

  Iam really sorry for my late condolence.Godbless America and Americans

sudhakar manchala - Thursday, December 21st, 2006 @ 7:32am  

  To all that passed on, you will always be remembered and missed! To those who survived you will always be thankfull for life and to those who hurt our nation you too will always always be remembered and never forgotten and we will conquer and prevail for our nation is one of a kind and nothing can stop us! WE ARE THE PEOPLE and we work together to live!

Beth Luiz - Thursday, December 14th, 2006 @ 4:41am  

  God bless those that died and were injured in this horrible act of madness. Those that did this have lost their humanity long ago. The United States is in a War for its very survival. The good Lord willing, we will win the fight against third-world tyrants and subhumans.

Terry Lee Webb - Sunday, December 10th, 2006 @ 11:35am  

  New twin towers shouldrebuild? Why? Because World Trade Center belong to New York.Taller than before.Stronger and fireproof.More than 110 stories.I remember 9/11/01old twin towers wasdestroyed by two planes.I never forget forever!!I hope I will see newtwin towers of world trade center by 2012!!

Lizbeth Paguyo - Wednesday, November 8th, 2006 @ 11:54pm  

  The U.S. gives to countries of need and helps when needed, why we were able to get help to sri lanka faster than we were able to get help to New Orleans, anyway,what does that have to do with the twin towers.??They were the most beautiful buildings, offering a sight maybe an insight into what was in front of you, if you looked deep and far enough you might see a light or a thousand lights. Day or night, the beauty, the the Brooklyn Bridge, several comments above indicate less, but, these, people have obviously never known freedom, peace, love, friendship and peace of heart. GOD BLESS AMERICA. and I pray for every soldier who serves, and gives and the people who write the negative.Your brother, sister, friend, could have been in that building

Julie Pearsoll - Monday, October 23rd, 2006 @ 8:59pm  

  the world trade center may have fallen into pieces but the UNITY and COURAGE of the american people will always prevail even in the most destructive force of evil.its a symbol of GREATNESS. MARTYRDOM for those who have perished...

marvin oliva - Wednesday, September 20th, 2006 @ 2:49am  

  I wish this kind of Human made disaster will never ever happen again! God bless American. (Peace for the 5th year)

Nelson Loo - Tuesday, September 12th, 2006 @ 5:40am  

  I would like to see the Tower 1 & 2 back in the same spot. Ill never forget that day and who was the cause of it.

Brenda Cox - Monday, September 11th, 2006 @ 11:53pm  

  the world trade center will always be remembered as a symbol of peace,brotherhood and prosperity and Greatness not only the USA but for all MANKIND...

marvin - Monday, September 11th, 2006 @ 10:48pm  

  It is hard to imagine that it has been 5 years since my immediate family and I visited NYC (including the warmth of the NYC people) and the WTC area 5 months before terrorists destroyed the towers and the general area and murdered almost 3000 people. 3000 people from many countries here in this country to work, to live, to be apart of the American dream and to represent various nations and companies. Even though we may not live and work in NYC, my family has been and will always profoundly saddened about this dark event in our history, but also proud of the american spirit to grief about the fallen heroes, while rebuilding a new structure to represent America and the heroes. Having a law enforcement and military background, I will continue to have a brotherhood with the men and women that protect and serve the people of this nation, as well as, defend the innocent from criminals... foreign and domestic. God Bless America... My home sweet home.

James Wilson - Sunday, August 20th, 2006 @ 10:48am  

  As a kid, I always wanted to visit New York for many reasons, one being to see these giant buildings I'd seen my whole life on tv. I eventually made it to the USA in January 2005 and although the towers were gone - I could still visualise them and they looked great. The memory of these buildings will last forever in the minds and hearts of all of us and will remain there always.

Stephen Morier - Wednesday, July 26th, 2006 @ 12:01pm  

  no body can not forget this terrorian doing and i sure at suitable time the world able to venge of the cleanhandeds

yosef majidi - Monday, April 10th, 2006 @ 4:03pm  

  years later the events of 911 has really hit me, never having been to new york, i ve always wanted to go, and i now realize that life never will be the same, the towers were a symbol of mans ability to create good in the world, and in the end they now symbolize the overwhelming sadness that one should never experience. since it happened i felt anguish, and anger, but now i am seriously coming to grips with the fact that life will never be the same, god bless everyone

derek wheeler - Wednesday, February 1st, 2006 @ 11:20am  

  God save America, the Tower of the freedom is a challenge to proud. The only way to subtute the tween towers. Congratulations from Colombia!

Juancarlos - Monday, December 5th, 2005 @ 11:51am  

  i have never visited new york but its a place i hope to see in the future i just wish the towers were still there as i dont think its the same just visiting the was the most horrific attack i have ever witnessed on television and i dont think i will ever forget those very sad images. god bless you all. x

eileen - Friday, September 9th, 2005 @ 9:48am  

  i hope they will rebuilt the world trade center but with greater height.This is to show terrorists that even though they destroy the symbol of america,they will just continue going higher and higher .And i hope you kill osama(the coward)

ooi yat fai - Wednesday, July 13th, 2005 @ 4:52am  

  I had the great privilege of working in the World Trade Centers, and happened not to be present on the day they were destroyed. Let me say that the buildings were heroic in themselves, in that they allowed 90% of their occupants at the time of the attacks to get to safety before they succumbed to the unbelievable heat of the fires within them. The firefighters and everyone involved did everything they could, but it was a day of destiny. I believe that our best course of action will be to build the towers back as they were, except to offset them so that the footprints of the original towers are left undisturbed- that is now hallowed ground. The new towers should be 120 stories, and should employ cage frame construction rather than open floor. They should be the tallest structures ever constructed, have the best evacuation and safety features in the world, and be protected by the most advanced defense system ever devised from both air and ground attack. This is a goal that I believe our nation, despite its flaws still the greatest this world has ever seen, can accomplish. Thank you.

Duane Bergman - Tuesday, June 14th, 2005 @ 10:39pm  

  What an incredible loss this has been to the world. A complex of magnificent towers...the best in the world. These terrorists were only jealous that they cant ever have anything like those in their homeland! Let them be cursed! I think the new towers are looking good though (well on paper). Inonly hope that they will become the biggest once again in the world, fight off the tough competition in Asia and Dubai. Let New York hold the title of the World's tallest building... where it belongs! LAND OF THE FREE... HOME OF THE BRAVE!!

Steve P - Thursday, May 26th, 2005 @ 8:16am  

  It is still upseting what hapened that sunny day in september, just the other day i was watching a movie called armageddon and a meteor shower hit NYC, they showed a view of the skyline after the shower hit, the crysler bldg. was in ruin, and the top 10 floors of of the south tower were halfway demolished and halfway burning, and many of the other skyscrapers were burning or were falling to the ground, it made me realize how unpredictable nature could be and how quickly such a mighty city could be deystroyed. GOD BLESS THE USA

GH - Friday, May 20th, 2005 @ 10:21pm  

  I wish Terrorists had never done this.What did we ever do to them.The Twin Towers were my FAVORITE buildings. these buildings were never ment to be Knoked down.They Killed over 2,000 people for no reason.Thats not Funny,its SAD.I will never foget the WTC.The reason they probably did this is cause they hate us.We did not do anything to Deserve this.I am so upset.I am sorry for all the Children and Parents that lost ther Relatives.I love you WTC

Vincent Guerriera - Wednesday, April 13th, 2005 @ 7:27pm  

  It's been 3 and a half years now since evil and hatred hijacked us all on that calm, warm, early fall morning in September. That day was one of the worst, if not THE worst, day of my life. I still pinch myself on occasion just to make sure it was a reality and not a nightmare. I regret never going inside the Twins or walking in the general area of the World Trade Complex and seeing the wonderful views from the observation decks and roof, or dining at Windows on the World overlooking the spectacular New York skyline. I did see them once in person, when I was a young kid, probably no older than 10 or 11, as I reached out the window of our family car on Church Street to witness these towering behemoths of beauty. Too bad I didn't take any family photos of these great landmarks, either. I remember back in July 2001, when I took a trip along with my Dad north from the Washington, D.C. area to pay a visit up at my Aunt's place in Edison, NJ, which is a suburb of NYC in northern NJ, and considering to see the Trade Center again, only this time spending more time in detail studying the complex from the interior. My Dad suggested to me that I could always see them another time, and unfortunately, I listened to his advice and I decided against taking a quick train ride up there on the NJ Transit and then the PATH to see them. Boy, if only we knew. I kick myself many times for not seeing them that summer. If only life could have a rewind function so that we could go back to that day, or days when other terrible things have occurred to each and every one of us in this world, and change destiny. Unfortunately, that's impossible. In regards to the new Freedom Tower being built, well it will be the tallest building in the world, surpassing Taipei 101 in Taiwan. The design isn't bad, although I think there's too much glass involved. I wish Larry Silverstein would've incorporated a twin so that it could be the Twin Freedom Towers, thus reflecting the World Trade Center. The memorial also seems as if it will be fitting, with the reflecting pools & the footprints of the Twin Towers. In the end, with all the chaos that happens daily in the world, from terrorism, murders, genocide, ethnic-cleansing, wars, mega-tsunamis and other natural disasters, to diseases, all I can really say is that life is short, so let's just enjoy life as much as we can, be better than the scum, take things for what they're worth and just ride this mother till' the wheels fall off!! May God bless all of the victims and the families involved in the 9/11 attacks in NYC, the Pentagon and the airliners hijacked, as well as anyone throughout the world who has suffered from generally terrible, heinous things. P.S. Nice site and I enjoyed the pictures of what once was!!

Ray L. - Friday, March 25th, 2005 @ 3:35am  

  Poland is truly sorry for what happened to the U.S. and we will stand together with America and the world on the fight against terror.

Michal - Tuesday, March 22nd, 2005 @ 2:55pm  

  I will never forget that day when so many of our kin perished. And I hope that nobody ever forgets it either. LEST WE FORGET

Craig - Wednesday, March 9th, 2005 @ 11:56pm  

  I feel sorry for america that they had to go trough this tragic evet hopefully nothing like this will ever happen again

Eric - Tuesday, February 22nd, 2005 @ 11:32am  

  it is soon 4 years that the terrible day in new york happend but it feels that it became yesterday and I will send my bless to the people of New York and say that we will not forget you.

Roger Juhlin - Tuesday, February 15th, 2005 @ 5:24pm  

  I was promoted from the Sydney Hilton to Windows on the World, an INHILCO operation, and worked on 107, Tower 1. I'm still stunned, as you maybe could imagine what it was like, how secure, friendly and motivated staff innocuolussly wandering around one of, if not THE, best restaraunts in the world's many rooms... , It hurts, and it hurts deep...I'm proud to see that America is NOT backing off, and whatever decision is made regarding re-building, let the dust land where it must. Dave Falkner

David Falkner - Saturday, February 12th, 2005 @ 11:16pm  

  A very devistating day for us all. So glad we are building something in the memory of those who were lost, and those who chose to defend us at our time of need! America the BEAUTIFUL! Thanks! We LOVE NY & NYC!!!

---WendyLynne--- - Tuesday, November 2nd, 2004 @ 8:17pm  

  Don't lose faith in our Lord Jesus for God has a plan that we may not see now but we will come to know when we are with God. God Bless all those who served to help people escape and helped the injured. My prayers are with each and everyone who lost a loved one. They are with God now folks.. rest easy.

Kelley Moonwater Frederick - Tuesday, August 31st, 2004 @ 3:42pm  

  Ive never seen the US react so fast as they did on 9/11/01 good job USA

George D Kennedy - Friday, August 6th, 2004 @ 10:01pm  

  I think that the World Trade Center was a masterpiece, that stood over Manhattan for 30 years, as the two tallest buildings in New York, standing at 420m tall.

Michael - Thursday, June 3rd, 2004 @ 8:32am  

  Each year the government of the United States spends billions of dollars helping people in impoverished, unstable, and otherwise developing nations; and this is how we are repaid. We build radio stations, develop clean water and sanitation systems, erect schools and teach the poor for free. This is our reward - hatred, contempt, and death. People outside the United States wonder why American citizens don't seem interested in the developing world. It's because the developing world is made of ungrateful little children who blindly follow agitators instead of thanking the greatest nation on earth for the gifts they are given.

Wayne Lorentz - September 11th, 2001