9/11: 20 Years Later and Some of the People Lost

20 years ago, America changed forever. Tuesday, September 11, 2001 started as a normal day. The birds chirped, the kids played, and people went to work. And that day, what would have been four average plane rides soon turned into something much, much worse. 

First, it was American Airline Flight 11 at 7:59 a.m. en route with 76 passengers and 11 crew members. This was the plane that flew into the northern façade of the North Tower of the World Trade center at 8:46 a.m.  

Then at 9:03 a.m. United Airlines Flight 175 hit the south face of the south tower. 

American Airlines, Flight 77 hit the Pentagon.  

United Airlines, Flight 93. Hit a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.  

All of these are things that we know and that we’ve all heard about before. But I believe that talking about the acts, their destruction, and how many innocent lives lost, creates fear and discomfort; which is exactly what the men who did this want us to feel.  

Instead of talking about the events of that day I’m choosing to talk about some of the people we lost on that fateful day. 

William E. Caswell, 54. Born in Boston Massachusetts, on June 22, 1947. He attended Princeton University for a physics degree, but then was drafted in the Army during the Vietnam War. William was brilliant, brave, and forever a hero. 

Betty Ong, 45. Born in San Francisco, California, on February 05, 1956. She was a Cantonese woman who lived in Andover, Massachusetts. Betty assigned herself Flight 11, intending to go to Hawaii with her sister. She was also engaged to Robert Landrum. Betty is known for bravely and heroically being the first person to alert the authorities of the hijackings. She was on the phone for 25 minutes, giving vital information that led to the closing of airspace by the FAA. Betty Ong has declared a hero by the 9/11 Commission. 

Ronald Paul Bucca, 47. Born in New York City, May 6, 1954. Ron was a Green Beret during the Vietnam War and later served as an analyst for the Defense Intelligence Agency. In 1986, he joined the FDNY and was promoted to Fire Marshal in 1992. Ronald was one of the people who investigated the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and the FDNY representative on the Joint Terrorism Task Force. He responded to the attack and went to the impact zone at the Sky Lobby on the 78th floor of the South Tower of the World Trade Center with Battalion Chief Orio Palmer. Bucca is the only fire marshal in history of the New York City Fire Department to be killed in the line of duty. 

Sadly, there are many more victims not included, but there’s also survivors. Survivors like Marcy Borders, Robert Cimetta, and Lauren Manning, just to name a few. Instead of being broken and falling apart, America stayed, and stayed strong. America unified after a horrible tragedy, and 20 years later, we will never forget what happened and the importance of being together.