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What really happened on September 11? This site breaks it all down

Where were you 16 years ago today? Do you remember what you were doing? Most of us can remember the unsettling feeling when we heard about planes slamming into the World Trade Center, Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field.

It was the first time the United States experienced a foreign terrorist attack of this magnitude on our own soil. You might recall that all airplanes were grounded. Everyday life came to a screeching halt. Employers sent workers home. Cities became ghost towns. People flocked to churches. Drivers stood in line for $5 a gallon for gas.

September 11 Attack Timeline

But what was it like in other parts of the country, particularly New York City? Web-based interactive timelines are available for you to view that capture the events of September 11, 2001, and the nine months following at Ground Zero. It even goes back as far as the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. 

Images, audio and video are used in the timelines as well as first-person accounts. These are all part of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum’s permanent collection. 

Note: Click here for a timeline that shows exactly what happened on September 11, minute-by-minute. Keep in mind, there are graphic images.

The 9/11 timeline starts out when the hijackers pass through security at the Portland, Maine airport. The 19 terrorists also boarded planes in Boston, Massachusetts, Newark, New Jersey, and the Washington D.C. area.

The timeline continues by indicating when each flight takes off from each airport, along with video and the time the first and second tower is attacked. Quotes are included from broadcast reports along with flight attendants and those who were in the towers.

A chilling photo of shoes that survivors wore on that day is included along with a fireman’s hat plus surveillance video from inside the World Trade Center towers.

Ground Zero Recovery Timeline

The Ground Zero Recovery Timeline features photos of responders searching for survivors in the mounds of rubble. You can also view photos of the Pentagon devastation and see pictures of a Memorial Service in Pennsylvania.

No detail is left out including when the air quality was declared safe in Lower Manhattan to when rescue efforts turned into recovery efforts. There’s even a photo of when the last Column Ceremony was held to mark the end of the recovery on May 30, 2002.

Note: Click here to see the Ground Zero Recovery Timeline. (Keep in mind, there are some graphic images.)

The next section focuses on post-recovery efforts including the Pentagon Memorial inauguration on September 11, 2008, the Flight 93 National Memorial Debut on September 10, 2011, and the National September 11 Memorial at the World Trade Center Dedication.

The nice feature about this timeline is you can pick and choose what you want to view.

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