20 Years After the World Trade Center Attack, a Nation Remembers

I first saw the news on the front page of Yahoo.com. But every American remembers where they were when they heard the news. “The World Trade Towers in new york were crashed into by 2 planes, one on each tower, 18 minutes apart,” CmdrTaco posted on Slashdot. “Nobody really knows who did it, but the planes were big ones.

“Normally I wouldn’t consider posting this on Slashdot, but I’m making an exception this time because I can’t get news through any of the conventional websites, and I assume I’m not alone.”

CmdrTaco later posted an update. “Both towers havecollapsed, pentagon hit by 3rd plane. Part of it has collapsed.”

It’s 20 years later, and there’s plenty of hindsight, recollections, and reflection around the web. But today back on the front page of Yahoo.com there’s this remembrance from a U.S. airman who’d been dispatched to crash her plane into one of the hijacked jetliners: As the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks were unfolding, then-Air Force Lt. Heather Penney was given a mission to intercept hijacked United Airlines Flight 93 before it reached Washington, D.C. The rookie F-16 pilot said she believed she would not come back from that mission.

“[I remember] how crystal blue the skies were that day,” she told ABC News Live anchor Linsey Davis…

“I had raised my hand and swore an oath to protect and defend our nation,” she said. “If this was where the universe had placed me at this moment in time… that this was my purpose. Anyone who had been in our position would have been willing to do the same thing.

“And the proof is in the pudding, because the passengers on Flight 93 did….”

Flight 93 passengers attempted to retake the plane, and in the struggle, the aircraft crashed in a field in Pennsylvania, killing everyone on board. It was the only one of the four hijacked aircrafts that day that did not reach the terrorists’ intended target.