40. September 11th

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One of the darkest days in American history was September 11, 2001. This is "a day that will live in infamy" for most Americans. It was the most tragic day in the history of the country since December 7, 1941 when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. September 11th was the day Muslim extremists hijacked four commercial airliners in an attempt to destroy the American spirit by slamming those jets into four buildings. Three of the four jets reached their targets, while one was stopped by a group of everyday heroes who gave their lives for their country.

In the early morning hours on September 11, 2001, American Airlines Flight 11 slammed into the north tower of the World Trade Center in New York City. A few minutes later, Flight 175, also an American Airlines flight, struck the south tower. Both suicide attacks brought the towers down, but not immediately. It took time for the extreme heat from the burning jet fuel to weaken the towers to their eventual collapse. At about the same time, American Airlines, Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon, which is a government building in the country's capitol, Washington D.C.

The fourth flight, United Airlines Flight 93, was also headed for the capitol city. Most people think its target was either the capitol building, or the White House, the president's home. A group of brave passengers, upon hearing the news of what was happening in the country, decided to take down the giant airplane even though they knew they would not survive. They stormed the cockpit and took the controls from the hijackers. The plane flew out of control, crashing into a field in the state of Pennsylvania, where all passengers were killed.

In all, about 3,000 Americans lost their lives on that day, but the American spirit was not suppressed. Those responsible for the attacks were quickly dealt with, and the country soon began its journey to recovery. September 11, 2001, a day America will never forget.

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