September 11, 2001

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More commonly referred to as '911', this is the date of the terrorist attacks on the continental United States by the hi-jacking of jet airplanes which were later crashed into the World Trade Center Twin Towers Buildings, the Pentagon and a crash landing in a unpopulated area in Pennsylvania. Fires burned in the wreckage for weeks following the crashs and the collapse of the Twin Towers.

Following early televised broadcasts of the second tower crash, and the subsequent fall of the Twin Towers, the FAA ordered the grounding of all flights from coast to coast. This embargo on air flight within the US lasted for more than 24 hours, and only limited flights were allowed for almost a week in most airports.

Over 3,000 people lost their lives when the Twin Towers collapsed, including hundreds of NYC firemen and police who had responded to the scene to assist those trapped in the damaged hi-rise buildings.

Subsequent investigation showed that a majority of the hi-jackers were of Saudi Arabian nationality, although the presiding US Administration began an almost immediate move to link the attacks to Saddam Hussein and Iraq.

President George W Bush eventually invaded Iraq in March of 2003, claiming, "The dictator of Iraq and his weapons of mass destruction are a threat to the security of free nations. He is a danger to his neighbors. He's a sponsor of terrorism. He's an obstacle to progress in the Middle East. For decades he has been the cruel, cruel oppressor of the Iraq people."

Almost three years after the attacks on September 11, 2001 reports became public knowledge regarding air quality in NYC during the weeks and months that followed '911' - and the statements at the time by the EPA that, "the air quality in NYC does not pose a risk to the public at this time". Those reports showed thousands who had begun substantial medical treatment for respiratory ailments most likely due to inhalation of substances such as asbestos, which filled the air for extended time periods during the clean up and reconstruction phases of the '911' attacks.

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