I can't make sense of the tragedy of 9-11.
Even after the passing of ten years, I'll never understand how anybody can be so distorted that they'd use the excuse of religion or politics to generate pure evil.
Some of the facts from 9-11 are so shocking they need to be revisited if only to try and ensure that something like this never happens again.
According to reports, there were a total of 2,996 deaths, including 19 hijackers and 2,977 victims. However, there are an unknown number of residual deaths, including rescuers succumbing to illnesses after being exposed to toxicity at the impact sites.
Of the victims, 246 were aboard four planes. Nobody survived on any of the planes. In New York City, 2,606 died in the towers and on the ground, and 125 at the Pentagon, plus those aboard the plane in Pennsylvania.
According to Wikipedia, all of the deaths in the attacks were civilians except for 55 military personnel killed at the Pentagon.
In the towers, over 90 percent who died had been at or above the points of impact.
"In the North Tower, 1,355 people were trapped and died of smoke inhalation, fell or jumped from the tower to escape the smoke and flames, or were killed in the building's eventual collapse," states Wikipedia.
Another 107 people below the point of impact did not survive.
Steel girders in the buildings reportedly twisted after the planes hit, jamming doors leading to stairwells. In the South Tower, one stairwell remained intact allowing 18 people to escape from above the point of impact.
Some 630 people died in the South Tower. Supposedly, casualties in the South Tower were significantly reduced when the building occupants saw what was happening in the North Tower and began evacuating.
Sadly, some occupants of each tower above the point of impact made their way upward toward the roof in hope of helicopter rescue. Turned out, they couldn't go out onto the roof because access doors were locked. In any case, there was no plan for helicopter rescues. Thick smoke and intense heat would have prevented helicopters from going there.
Most disturbing is the data regarding those who fell through the air.
At least 200 people fell or jumped to their deaths. They crashed onto the streets below, or onto rooftops of adjacent buildings. Some fell 1,200 feet or more. None of those deaths are considered suicides.
Officially, all deaths in the attacks (except those of the hijackers) are considered homicides. In fact, nobody is actually considered to be a jumper. Some might have stumbled through the smoke and accidentally plunged through broken glass.
"A 'jumper' is somebody who goes to the office in the morning knowing that they will commit suicide ... These people were forced out by the smoke and flames or blown out," stated the New York medical examiner's office.
Cantor Fitzgerald L.P., an investment bank on the 101st–105th floors of the North Tower, lost 658 employees; or 3 out of every 4 employees.
The list of disturbing facts goes on and on. But so do the acts of courage and heroism, and the lessons learned. We've been reading about those facts over the past ten years, and we should continue to do so.
September 11 will always remind us that tragedy brings out the best in people. And evil never wins.