Service members and first responders honored on September 11
South Texas College held 9/11 Remembrance Ceremonies at all of its campuses across Hidalgo and Starr Counties. The 9 a.m. Pecan Campus ceremony kicked off five events that took place throughout the day, Sept. 11, 2018. The theme for this year’s ceremony was “Honor and Respect the Blue Line”.
STC organized ceremonies that served not only as solemn reminders of the events of 9/11, but also as a way to appreciate the work of law enforcement officers, firefighters, veterans, medical personnel, and first responders who put themselves in harm’s way for the safety of others.
“One of the things we really wanted to do was focus on those first responders,” said Jessie Luna, Veterans Outreach Coordinator at South Texas College. “The blue line represents those who went towards danger, who are fearless and courageous, and who showed the willingness to save lives. They saved lives while sacrificing their own lives. That’s what I would like everyone to remember on this day.”
Addressing students, staff and faculty at South Texas College’s Pecan Campus as a keynote speaker, Thirteenth Court of Appeals Justice Nora Longoria was among those who gathered to remember the events of Sept. 11, and conveyed her appreciation to those who sacrificed their lives.
“It is so important that we remember the courage of those who put themselves in harm’s way for our country,” Longoria said. “When I think of the families who lost children, I can’t imagine how they have been able to persevere and go on every day, but they do. They are examples to us because we have seen them start charities and scholarship funds in memory of all the people they lost.
“That is the true American spirit,” Longoria said.
During the ceremony, a bell was rung in remembrance of key events that occurred on Sept. 11. A timeline of key moments prior, during and after the fall of the Twin Towers continues below:
“The blue line represents those who went towards danger, who are fearless and courageous, and who showed the willingness to save lives. They saved lives while sacrificing their own lives. That’s what I would like everyone to remember on this day.”
Sept. 11 timeline:
At 7:59 a.m., American Airlines Flight 11 with 92 people aboard took off from Boston-Logan International Airport en route to Los Angeles.
At 8:14 a.m., United Airlines Flight 175 with 65 people aboard took off from Boston, also headed to Los Angeles.
At 8:19 a.m., flight attendants about flight 11 alert ground personnel that the plane had been hijacked.
At 8:20 a.m., American Airlines Flight 77 takes off from Dulles International Airport outside of Washington DC headed to Los Angeles with 64 people.
At 8:40 a.m., the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) alerts North American Aerospace Defense Command about the suspected hijacking of flight 11. In response, NEAD scrambles two fighter planes located at Cape Cod Otis International Guard Base to locate and tail flight 11. They are not yet in the air when Flight 11 crashes into the north tower.
At 8:41 a.m., United Airlines Flight 93, a Boeing 757 with 44 people aboard takes off from Newark International Airport en route to San Francisco.
At 8:46 a.m., hijackers aboard American Airlines Flight 11 crashes the plane into floors 93-99 of the North Tower of the World Trade Center, killing everyone on board and hundreds inside the building.
At 8:47 a.m., the New York Police Department and New York Fire Department dispatch units to the World Trade Center while Port Authority police officers onsite begin immediate evacuation of the north tower.
At 8:50 a.m., 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.
At 9:03 a.m. after initially instructing tenants of the WTC South Tower to remain 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 when hijackers crash United Airlines Flight 175 into floors 78-85 of the WTC south tower killing everyone on board and hundreds inside the building.
At 9:08 a.m, the FAA bans all take-offs of flights going into New York City or airspace around the city.
At 9:21 a.m., the Port Authority closes all bridges and tunnels in the New York City area.
At 9:24 a.m., the FAA is notified by NEADS that they suspected a hijacking of Flight 77 after passengers aboard are able to alert family members on the ground.
At 9:31 a.m., speaking from Florida, President Bush calls the events in New York City an apparent terrorist attack on our country.
At 9:37 a.m., hijackers aboard Flight 77 crash the plane into the western face of the Pentagon in Washington DC, killing 59 people aboard and 125 military and civilian personnel inside the building.
At 9:42 a.m., for the first time in history, the FAA grounds all flights bound for the continental US. Some 3,300 commercial flights and 1,200 private planes are guided to airports in Canada or the United States over the next two and a half hours.
At 9:45 a.m., amid escalating rumors of other attacks, the White House and US Capitol buildings are closed.
At 9:59 a.m., the south tower of the World Trade Center collapses.
At 10:07 a.m., after passengers and crewmembers aboard 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 in rural Pennsylvania, killing all 40 passengers and crew onboard.
At 10:28 a.m., the World Trade Center North Tower collapses, 102 minutes after being struck by Flight 11.