PATRIOT DAY, 2017
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BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
On Patriot Day, we honor the nearly 3,000 innocent lives taken from us on September 11, 2001, and all of those who so nobly aided their fellow citizens in America's time of need. We rededicate ourselves to the ideals that define our country and unite us as one, as we commemorate all the heroes who lost their lives saving others.
September 11, 2001, will forever be one of the most tragic days in American history. Through the unimaginable despair, however, ordinary Americans etched into our history remarkable illustrations of bravery, of sacrifice for one another, and of dedication to our shared values. The shock from the indelible images of the smoke rising from the World Trade Center and Pentagon gave way to countless inspiring videos of co-workers helping one another to safety; of heroes running into collapsing buildings to save the innocent people trapped within; and to the unforgettable story of the patriots who charged the cockpit of Flight 93 to save untold numbers of lives. These heroes moved us with their bravery. They make us proud to be Americans.
Throughout history, everyday Americans and first responders have done the extraordinary through selfless acts of patriotism, compassion, and uncommon courage. Not just in New York, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, but across our great Nation, Americans on September 11, 2001, bound themselves together for the common good, saying with one voice that we will be neither scared nor defeated. The enemy attempted to tear at the fabric of our society by destroying our buildings and murdering our innocent, but our strength has not and will not waiver. Americans today remain steadfast in our commitment to liberty, to human dignity, and to one another.
It has been 16 years since the tragedy of September 11, 2001. Children who lost their parents on that day are now parents of their own, while many teenagers currently in high school learn about September 11th only from their history books. Yet all Americans are imbued with the same commitment to cause and love of their fellow citizens as everyone who lived through that dark day. We will never forget. The events of September 11, 2001, did not defeat us. They did not rattle us. They, instead, have rallied us, as leaders of the civilized world, to defeat an evil ideology that preys on innocents and knows nothing but violence and destruction.
On this anniversary, I invite all Americans to thank our Nation's incredible service members and first responders, who are on the front lines of our fight against terrorism. We will always remember the sacrifices made in defense of our people, our country, and our freedom. The spirit of service and self sacrifice that Americans so nobly demonstrated on September 11, 2001, is evident in the incredible response to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The same spirit of American patriotism we movingly witnessed on September 11th has filled our hearts as we again see the unflinching courage, compassion, and generosity of Americans for their neighbors and countrymen. The service members and first responders who lost their lives on September 11, 2001, and in the years of service since would be proud of what we have all witnessed over these last three weeks and what will undoubtedly unfold in the coming months of recovery. By protecting those in need, by taking part in acts of charity, service, and compassion, and by giving back to our communities and country, we honor those who gave their lives on and after September 11, 2001.
By a joint resolution approved December 18, 2001 (Public Law 107-89), the Congress has designated September 11 of each year as "Patriot Day."
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this eighth day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand seventeen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-second.
Below is a timeline of the events that occurred on September 11, 2001:
• 7:59 am – American Airlines Flight 11, a Boeing 767 with 92 people aboard, takes off from Boston's Logan International Airport en route to Los Angeles.
• 8:14 am – United Airlines Flight 175, a Boeing 767 with 65 people aboard, takes off from Boston; it is also headed to Los Angeles.
• 8:19 am – Flight attendants aboard Flight 11 alert ground personnel that the plane has been hijacked; American Airlines notifies the FBI.
• 8:20 am – American Airlines Flight 77 takes off from Dulles International Airport outside of Washington, D.C.The Boeing 757 is headed to Los Angeles with 64 people aboard.
• 8:24 am – Hijacker Mohammed Atta makes the first of two accidental transmissions from Flight 11 to ground control (apparently in an attempt to communicate with the plane's cabin).
• 8:40 am – The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) alerts North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD)'s Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) about the suspected hijacking of Flight 11. In response, NEADS scrambles two fighter planes located at Cape Cod's Otis Air National Guard Base to locate and tail Flight 11; they are not yet in the air when Flight 11 crashes into the North Tower.
• 8:41 am – United Airlines Flight 93, a Boeing 757 with 44 people aboard, takes off from Newark International Airport en route to San Francisco. It had been scheduled to depart at 8:00 am, around the time of the other hijacked flights.
• 8:46 am – Mohammed Atta and the other hijackers aboard American Airlines Flight 11 crash the plane into floors 93-99 of the North Tower of the World Trade Center, killing everyone on board and hundreds inside the building.
• 8:47 am – Within seconds, NYPD and FDNY forces dispatch units to the World Trade Center, while Port Authority Police Department officers on site begin immediate evacuation of the North Tower.
• 8:50 am – White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card alerts President George W. Bush that a plane has hit the World Trade Center; the president is visiting an elementary school in Sarasota, Florida at the time.
• 9:02 am – After initially instructing tenants of the WTC's South Tower to remain in the building, Port Authority officials broadcast orders to evacuate both towers via the public address system; an estimated 10,000 to 14,000 people are already in the process of evacuating.
• 9:03 am – Hijackers crash United Airlines Flight 175 into floors 75-85 of the WTC's South Tower, killing everyone on board and hundreds inside the building
• 9:08 am – The FAA bans all takeoffs of flights going to New York City or through the airspace around the city.
• 9:21 am – The Port Authority closes all bridges and tunnels in the New York City area.
• 9:24 am – The FAA notified NEADS of the suspected hijacking of Flight 77 after some passengers and crew aboard are able to alert family members on the ground.
• 9:31 am – Speaking from Florida, President Bush calls the events in New York City an "apparent terrorist attack on our country."
• 9:37 am – Hijackers aboard Flight 77 crash the plane into the western façade of the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., killing 59 aboard the plane and 125 military and civilian personnel inside the building.
• 9:42 am – For the first time in history, the FAA grounds all flights over or bound for the continental United States. Some 3,300 commercial flights and 1,200 private planes are guided to airports in Canada and the United States over the next two-and-a-half hours.
• 9:45 am – Amid escalating rumors of other attacks, the White House and U.S. Capitol building are evacuated (along with numerous other high-profile buildings, landmarks and public spaces).
• 9:59 am – The South Tower of the World Trade Center collapses.
• 10:07 am – After passengers and crew members aboard the hijacked Flight 93 contact friends and family and learn about the attacks in New York and Washington, they mount an attempt to retake the plane. In response, hijackers deliberately crash the plane into a field in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, killing all 40 passengers and crew aboard.
• 10:28 am – The World Trade Center's North Tower collapses, 102 minutes after being struck by Flight 11.
• 11 am – Mayor Rudolph Giuliani calls for the evacuation of Lower Manhattan south of Canal Street, including more than 1 million residents, workers and tourists, as efforts continue throughout the afternoon to search for survivors at the WTC site.
• 1 pm – From a U.S. Air Force base in Louisiana, President Bush announces that U.S. military forces are on high alert worldwide.
• 2:51 pm – The U.S. Navy dispatches missile destroyers to New York and Washington, D.C.
• 5:20 pm – The 47-story Seven World Trade Center collapses after burning for hours; the building had been evacuated in the morning, and there are no casualties, though the collapse forces rescue workers to flee for their lives.
• 6:58 pm – President Bush returns to the White House after stops at military bases in Louisiana and Nebraska.
• 8:30 pm – President Bush addresses the nation, calling the attacks "evil, despicable acts of terror" and declaring that America, its friends and allies would "stand together to win the war against terrorism."
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