25 Unbelievable Facts About 9/11 You Might Not Know

Posted by , Updated on November 29, 2022

What were you doing on the morning of September 11, 2001? Assuming you are old enough, you can probably remember it quite clearly. That single day completely changed the world we live in. And although many of the changes were for the worse, on that fateful day, the world came together in ways that we often forget about. So in honor of those who lost their lives, we bring you 25 unbelievable facts about 9/11 you might not know.



2,996 people were killed and over 6,000 were injured during the 9/11 attacks. Collectively, they were the single most deadly terror attacks in recorded world history.

Statue of Liberty on 9-11Source: bbc.com

Despite the destruction and devastation, 18 people were actually rescued alive from the rubble of the WTC.

firefighter at Ground ZeroSource: washingtonpost.com

Al-Qaeda had considered targeting nuclear power plants but decided against it for fear that things could "get out of control."

nuclear plantSource: theguardian.com

343 firefighters and 71 law enforcement officers died in the rescue efforts at ground zero.

firefighters and rescuers memorialSource: nytimes.com

Citizens of more than 90 countries perished in the attacks.

country flagsSource: nytimes.com

19,435 body parts were eventually recovered.

Ground Zero fire engineSource: bbc.com

Christine Lee Hanson was the youngest victim of the attacks at only 2 years old. She was on board flight 175 with her parents. It was her first plane trip.

Christine Lee HansonSource: nytimes.com

Following the attacks, the Masai tribe of Kenya gave 14 of their best cattle to the United States.

MasaiSource: bbc.com

F-16 pilot Lt. Heather “Lucky” Penney and her commanding officer were immediately called from Andrews Air Force Base. Their mission? Take down Flight 93. The only problem was that they didn't have enough time to load the planes with ammo...so they were going to fly straight into it. However, Flight 93's passengers took the plane down before they could get there.

fighter jetsSource: nytimes.com

In 2006, Russia presented the US with a 9/11 memorial which was erected in Bayonne, New Jersey. It has come to be known as the "Tear Drop Memorial."

Tear Drop MemorialSource: washingtonpost.com

Ben Sliney, the Federal Aviation Administration Operations Manager, was on his first day of the job when the attacks happened. Not sure of what else to do, he ordered the 4,000 plus planes in American airspace to all land immediately.

planeSource: bbc.com

There is a 9/11 memorial in Israel that is made of steel from the World Trade Center.

9-11 memorial in IsraelSource: nytimes.com

If it floated, it was needed. 9/11 saw the largest sea evacuation in US history. Beneath the watchful gaze of Lady Liberty, more than half a million New Yorkers were picked up by a fleet of tugboats, yachts, and fishing vessels led by the US Coast Guard.

Coast Guard on 9-11Source: nytimes.com

Canada immediately implemented what came to be known as Operation Yellow Ribbon. All airspace over Canada was shutdown and any international flights to the US were rerouted to Canadian airports. Canada sheltered and fed over 30,000 passengers across the country.

Canada and USASource: nytimes.com

Only one plane was allowed to take off after flights were grounded following the attack. Lawrence Van Sertima of Miami was bitten by a Taipan snake and needed antivenin quickly. Miami Fire-Rescue only had 5 vials and needed more. The problem? The closest supplies were in NYC and San Diego. NYC was a no go but the FAA gave clearance for the flight from San Diego. It was escorted by two fighter jets and Lawrence's life was saved just in time.

fighter jetSource: nytimes.com

The New York Times ran an article about every single victim of the attacks.

9-11 victimsSource: bbc.com

Over 400 search and rescue dogs were deployed, the largest such deployment in the nation's history.

working dog at Ground ZeroSource: nytimes.com

An estimated 3,000 children lost a parent on 9/11.

Ground ZeroSource: nytimes.com

Mychal Judge, the chaplain of the New York City Fire Department, was the first confirmed fatality on 9/11 (officially victim "0001"). His parent's home of Keshkarrigan, Ireland erected a memorial to the fallen chaplain.

Mychal Judge memorialSource: nytimes.com

Following the attacks, people all over the world responded. Race car drivers at the Italian Grand Prix silenced their engines, church bells in Austria tolled, firefighters in Poland sounded their sirens, and public transport throughout the world was stopped out of respect for the victims.

Together We StandSource: theguardian.com

Rescuers and volunteers poured in from around the world. This famous photo shows a member of the French Urban Search and Rescue Task Force working with his Alsation to uncover survivors at Ground Zero.

French Urban Search and Rescue Task Force working with his Alsation at Ground ZeroSource: nytimes.com

Blood donations around the world surged in the weeks following 9/11.

Blood donationsSource: theguardian.com

One World Trade Center, known as Freedom Tower was completed on May 10, 2013. Its spire reaches a height of exactly 1,776 feet, which is a deliberate reference to the year when the United States Declaration of Independence was signed.

Freedom TowerSource: nytimes.com

The National September 11 Memorial & Museum includes 2 large pools where the towers once stood. Surrounding the pools, the names of all 2,977 victims (plus 6 from the 1993 bombing) are inscribed on bronze plaques. The phrase "and her unborn child" follows the names of ten pregnant women who died on 9/11.

National September 11 Memorial & MuseumSource: nytimes.com

Every year on September 11, the Tribute in Light illuminates the skies of New York City in memory of those who lost their lives.

tribute in lightSource: nytimes.com

Photos: Featured Image: 9/11 Photos via flickr, CC BY 2.0, 25. 9/11 Photos via flickr, CC BY 2.0, 24. pixabay (public domain), 23. wikimedia commons (public domain), 22. pixabay (public domain), 21. US Air Force (public domain), 20. pixabay (public domain), 19. skinnylawyer from Los Angeles, California, USA, Flight 175 section, 9-11 Memorial – Flickr – skinnylawyer (1)CC BY-SA 2.0, 18-17. pixabay (public domain), 16. Jackie via flickr, CC BY 2.0, 15. pixabay (public domain), 14. אילת לב-ארי שלי Pikiwiki Israel, PikiWiki Israel 29909 Geography of IsraelCC BY 2.5, 13. US Coast Guard (public domain), 12. US Air Force (public domain), 11. pixabay (public domain), 10-8. wikimedia commons (public domain), 7. Jim TeVogt via geograph.ieCC BY-SA 2.0, 6. US Air Force (public domain), 5. wikimedia commons (public domain), 4-1. pixabay (public domain)

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