9/11 Philadelphia Story: Local Attack Headlines

On this date in 2001, there were more questions than answers.

Background: National Flight 93 Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

Gene J. Puskar/AP Photo; The Philadelphia Investigator

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Two decades before the coronavirus pandemic sent the world into a frantic struggle to understand our “new normal,” the daily lives of millions of people were upended when four planes were hijacked and crashed into sites from New York City to Washington. DC.

9/11 was more than two decades ago and marked the beginning of their own new normal.

We now know many details about what happened that day. We know who was behind the attacks that rocked the nation and the names of those who lost their lives trying to stop them. We know of many of the steps our country’s leaders tried to take to prevent it from happening again and the lasting effects of those actions.

In Shanksville, Pennsylvania, about a 4-hour drive west of Philadelphia, we learn that a plane crashed after a group of 33 passengers and seven crew members challenged four terrorists who diverted Flight 93 from Newark to San Francisco. , apparently directing the plane towards an attack on the Capitol in DC. President Joe Biden is visiting the Pennsylvania memorial today.

But on this date in 2001, and in the days and weeks that followed, there were more questions than answers.

Here’s a look at some of The Philadelphia Inquirer’s headlines from the tragic event that defined a generation and changed America forever.

Now it’s unsettling to see that 9/11 started like any other day at the turn of the millennium in Philadelphia, with a 50-cent newspaper reporting on policing, tax cuts, neighborhood renewal, and no idea what was to come.

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The Philadelphia Inquirer via Newspapers.com

Dramatic, disturbing, distressing, disruptive. Unimagined scenes of New York City graced the cover of the September 12 issue of The Inquirer.

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The Philadelphia Inquirer via Newspapers.com

The day after the planes crashed, investigations into what is often called the “fourth plane” began. It was unclear at the time to what extent the Pennsylvania disaster was related to the NYC and DC attacks.

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The Philadelphia Inquirer via Newspapers.com

Within two days, eyes were definitely turned to retaliation.

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The Philadelphia Inquirer via Newspapers.com
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The Philadelphia Inquirer via Newspapers.com

Anti-Muslim xenophobia intensified in the days following the attack. The group behind this, Al Qaeda, gained a reputation as an “Islamist” extremist organization, causing many to vilify the entire religion. However, true Islam teaches love for one God and for all mankind, and is the second largest religion in the world.

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The Philadelphia Inquirer via Newspapers.com

Public opinion vacillated between war and peace, revenge and forgiveness, targeted action and outright retaliation.

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The Philadelphia Inquirer via Newspapers.com

Airlines and airports began implementing heightened security protocols that remain the standard today.

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The Philadelphia Inquirer via Newspapers.com

The staggering death toll of 9/11 had yet to be realized. Today we know that a total of 2,977 people were killed that day. More have since died as a result of the attacks.

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The Philadelphia Inquirer via Newspapers.com

Even before the US government implemented life-changing heightened security and surveillance in every part of the country, people’s daily lives were immediately affected, such as changes in entertainment programming.

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The Philadelphia Inquirer via Newspapers.com

When President Bush urged citizens to “prepare” for a long battle, he was not exaggerating. The allusion marked the beginning of what experts say is the longest US war, which ended last month when the last US troops left Afghanistan.

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The Philadelphia Inquirer via Newspapers.com

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