I remember 9/11 just as if were yesterday. I remember watching the TV screen in complete shock that something so horrific was happening to my beloved country. The weeks that followed, I spent hours watching different news broadcasts trying to understand the why’s and how’s this attack was possible. Looking back, 21 years ago still seems like it was yesterday. Below are some very interesting facts about that tragic day that most people didn’t know:
1. Unfortunately 9/11 was not the first attack on the World Trade Center. A bombing in February of 1993 and 6 people lost their lives.
2. On any given workday, up to 50,000 employees worked in the WTC twin towers, and an additional 40,000 passed through the complex.
3. One of the unsung heroes of 9/11 was a guide dog named Roselle, a yellow Labrador who led her blind owner, Michael Hingson, down 78 stories of the North Tower and to the home of a friend.
4. It took firefighters 100 days to extinguish all the fires ignited by the attacks in New York.
5. The rescue and recovery clean-up of the 1.8 million tons of wreckage from the World Trade Center site took 9 months.
6. In 2001, New York City fire evacuation procedures only required mandatory evacuations for floors immediately surrounding a fire. After the plane struck Building 1 of the WTC, Building 2 employees were initially told to stay in the building.
7. 9/11 was the single largest loss of life from a foreign attack on American soil.
8. 18 people were rescued alive from the rubble of the World Trade Center site.
9. Respiratory problems like asthma and lung inflammation developed at abnormal rates for those in and around the World Trade Center during and after the attacks.
10. While video accounts of the WTC attack aired immediately, no video footage of the Pentagon attack was publicly released until 2006.
11. The top four search topics on Google during the week of 9/11, in descending order, were for: Nostradamus, CNN, The World Trade Center, and Osama bin Laden.
12. The total value of art lost when the Twin Towers collapsed exceeded $100 million. Items included Alexander Calder’s sculpture WTC Stabile.
13. On September 11, 2001, nearly 3,000 people lost lives, 400 were police officers and firefighters.
14. In total, workers sifted through more than one million tons of debris looking for remains and personal effects. They found 65,000 items, including 437 watches and 144 wedding rings.
15. After the attacks, novel Desecration: Antichrist Takes the Throne by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. became the bestselling American novel of 2001.
16. Hundreds of memorials, dedications, flagpoles, crucifixes, and artworks have been made using steel from Ground Zero. These include a cross where United Flight 93 crashed, made out of steel from the North Tower, and a Memory and Light monument in Padua, Italy.
17. Below is a picture of John Patrick O’Neill, who was a special agent in charge at the FBI, who had also investigated al-Qaeda and the first attack on the World Trade Center in 1993. He took up a new job as head of security at the World Trade Center – where he died on 9/11.
18. Scientists took advantage of the three-day flight ban over the US to do experiments on the effect on the atmosphere of jet planes. They found the days were a little warmer and the nights cooler.
19. According to researchers, alcohol consumption in Manhattan in the week after 9/11 increased by 25 percent compared to the same period the year before.
20. Five of the 9/11 hijackers stayed in a motel right outside the gates of the American spy organization, the National Security Agency, in the days immediately before the attacks.
21. The number of children who lost a parent in the events of 9/11 was 3,051. Seventeen babies were born to widows, whose husbands died during the attacks.
22. Global financial services firm, Cantor Fitzgerald, was the worst business affected by the 9/11 attacks. Unfortunately, its New York headquarters based on the 101st and 105th floors at One World Trade Center lost 658 out its 960-strong workforce.
It opens my eyes to see these 9/11 facts from a whole new perspective. But one thing is for sure, we will never forget.