Nearly 3,000 innocent people died in the attacks of September 11, 2001.
This memorial is dedicated to those who perished, and to the survivors of 9-11. It is a tribute to all heroes: Civilians, airline industry and Pentagon employees, safety personnel, search and rescue animals, private ambulance services, the Port Authority, the New York City Police Department and the Fire Department of New York.
As an expression of their strong friendship, in February 2007, the Fire Department of New York gifted the City of Redondo Beach a section of steel beam recovered from New York's World Trade Center site.
This 300-pound artifact supports an armillary sundial. The five sides of the black granite base represent the Pentagon. The red grasses surrounding the monument allude to the fields that burned when United Flight 93 crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
On September 11, 2001, just after 8:14 a.m., Eastern Standard Time, hijackers forcibly seize control of American Airlines Flight 11, bound for Los Angeles from Boston.
In a twenty-five minute emergency call to authorities on the ground, two of the flight attendants calmly and professionally relay details of the unfolding events.
At 8:46, the hijackers fly the Boeing 767 into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. It crashed through floors ninety-four to ninety-eight, catching fire on impact.
By 9:21, all New York City area airports, bridges and tunnels are shut down. At 10:28, the North Tower collapses, creating a suffocating cloud of smoke. In addition to nine crew members and seventy-six passengers, more than 1,360 people perish.
[Side 3]At 8:42 a.m., United Airlines Flight 93, a Boeing 757 headed for San Francisco, takes off from Newark, New Jersey. Four terrorists take seven crew members and thirty-three passengers hostage at 9:32.
Passengers make calls to family and friends, learning the fate of other hijacked planes. They vote to retake their plane, and volunteers step forward to lead the revolt.
"Let's roll," says one man, reflecting the group's determination.
The cockpit voice recorder captures the sound of the struggle beginning at 9:57. The plane begins to fly erratically, then dives with accelerating speed. At 10:03, the plane crashes into a field near Shanksville, southeast of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Thanks to the heroic efforts of the passengers on Flight 93, the hijackers never reach their target destination. Hundreds, if not thousands of lives are spared.
[Side 4] At 9:03 a.m., United Airlines Flight 175 from Boston to Los Angeles is commandeered by five hijackers who fly it into the South Tower of the World Trade Center, tearing through floors seventy-eight to eighty-four. The Boeing 767 explodes, igniting this portion of the building.
At 10:05, the South Tower collapses, followed by the Borth Tower, twenty-three minutes later. Massive amounts of dust and debris fly in every direction, clouding visibility and shrouding the chaos in the streets.
Before the crash, one of the United passengers speaks to his father for the last time on the phone:
"I think we are going down. Don't worry, Dad, if it happens, it will be very fast."
Along with at least 599 people who are working in the South Tower, nine crew members and fifty-one passengers die tragically.
[Side 5] Just after 9:30 a.m., American Airlines Flight 77, a Boeing 757, is on its way from Washington, D.C., to Los Angeles when five hijackers take possession of the plane and fly it into the Pentagon's facade.
The attack penetrates three of the building's five rings, and fire spreads throughout. All military and civilian personnel evacuate the twenty-nine acre complex.
The crash kills nearly 200 people, including Pentagon employees and fifty-three passengers and four crew members on the plane.
With the realization that America is under attack, the White House is evacuated.
At 9:40, for the first time in U.S. history, the Federal Aviation Administration brings all U.S. air traffic to a complete standstill.
New York Governor George Pataki and New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani close all state and city offices.