The start of a beautiful late summer day.... then life changed
From ----  As millions watched in horror the events unfolding in New York, American Airlines Flight 77 circled over downtown Washington, DC and slammed into the west side of the Pentagon military headquarters at 9:37am.  Jet fuel from the Boeing 757 caused a devastating inferno that led to a structural collapse of a portion of the giant concrete building.  All told, 125 military personnel and civilians were killed in the Pentagon along with 64 people aboard the airliner.  More than 15 minutes after....the horror in New York took a catastrophic turn for the worse when the south tower of the World Trade Center collapsed in a massive cloud of dust and smoke.  The structural steel of the skyscraper, built to withstand winds in excess of 200 mph and a large conventional fire, could not withstand the tremendous heat generated by the burning jet fuel.  At 10:28am the other Trade Center tower collapsed.  Close to 3,000 people died in the World Trade Center and its vicinity, including a staggering 343 firefighters and paramedics, 23 New York City police officers and 37 Port Authority police officers who were struggling to complete an evacuation of the buildings and save the office workers trapped on higher floors.  Only six people in the WTC towers at the time of their collapse survived.  Almost 10,000 other people were treated for injuries.Through the subsequent 20 years 331 firefighters have succumbed to post 9/11 illnesses.