9/11 Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Shelly Merrell

Shelly has a Master's of Education. Most recent professional experience is an educational diagnostician. Prior, she taught for 8 years.

America was attacked in a way it could not prepare for. As ashes and fragments overtook the city of New York. America came together and joined forces to recover and rise above the pain. Today's lesson will give an overview of the events of 9/11.

What Was 9/11?

Many times adults can't remember what they were doing last week, but most know exactly where they were and what they were doing on 9/11, the abbreviation for September 11, 2001. On that date, a group of men overtook two passenger airplanes and flew them into the then two tallest buildings in New York City. Another plane was taken hostage and flown into the Pentagon building near Washington, D.C.

A fourth plane was also taken over; however, the passengers had heard about the previous crashes and they fought back. It is said that the attackers on this plane intended to crash into the nation's capital in Washington, D.C. Due to the resistance, the plane crashed in Pennsylvania instead. The date 9/11 is set apart to remember all of the people who died in the four planes and the attacked buildings.

Many Americans watched with sadness as images of the buildings collapsing covered the television screens.

Who Were the Attackers?

The men who took over the planes were part of a group called al-Qaeda (pronounced Al-ky-dah). Al-Qaeda is a known terrorist group from another country who are against the United States. Terrorists are a group of people who want something and will cause harm to others to get it.

On this day the goal was to cause harm and kill many people. They had hoped that this act would cause America to be weak, making al-Qaeda stronger. They did cause the harm they had hoped to, but America did not become weaker. Many countries and people from other states came to help the city of New York during this time of need.

What Were the Buildings?

In the middle of a group of seven buildings, known as the World Trade Center, were two buildings that looked similar. These two buildings, known as the Twin Towers, were the ones destroyed on 9/11. Thousands of people had worked in the buildings, and more than 400 companies had offices there. Locals and tourists would enjoy going to the observatory deck to see the skyline.

What Happened After the Planes Crashed Into the Buildings?

On this particular day around 17,000 people were in the buildings. Most people were able to safely and quickly exit the building after the planes hit. Several types of community professionals and volunteers rushed to help the people trapped in the buildings.

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