DAYTON, Ohio — Twenty years ago, this week, American was under attack – an attack that left just under 3,000 people dead in New York City, Washington, D.C. and Shanksville, Pa when a group of terrorists hijacked four passenger jets and used them as missiles against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
When the terrorists targeted the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon, the attack was on all America. News Center 7′s Jim Otte talked about the attacks with former Miami Valley Congressman Dave Hobson at his home in Springfield.
Hobson was in Congress 20 years ago in the aftermath of the attacks. Now, looking back – he remembers being on the floor of the U.S. House when the second plane hit the World Trade Center.
“I think all of our lives changed on that day,” Hobson said.
A short time later, a third plane hit the Pentagon and set it on fire.
Hobson said, “We were mad that somebody would have the audacity to kill people on airplanes and into buildings.”
A fourth plane crashed in Shanksville, Pa., and was forced down by heroic passengers. That plane was head to the U.S. Capitol.
Otte said, “I spent the day driving to Washington with photographer James Robinson. When we arrived that night, it was eerily quiet, and the next day Contre3ss was trying to figure out what to do next.”
Former Congressman Tony Hall said, “We were mad. We were confused.”
Hall and Otte talked about what came in the aftermath of the attacks.
“We got a lot of briefings – not only from the military but also the intelligence community. We wanted to know who did this,” Hall said.
Later, the 9/11 Commission found terrorist Osama Bin Laden was behind the attacks, and that two of the four planes flew over Ohio on their way to their targets.
A year later, Otte was in New York City for the first anniversary of the attacks with News Center 7 anchor Jim Baldridge.
People were still flocking to ground zero to see the damage. The rebuilding began and the nation mourned the loss of so many people.
President George W. Bush said, “Today we remember each life.”
For a while Congress put politics aside.
Hall said, “When we have to come together, we do come together. There’s no such thing as Republicans and Democrats fighting. We do come together when it is necessary.”
Two decades later, the U.S. recently left its involvement in Afghanistan. In the war on terror, both Hall and Hobson criticize U.S. nation building efforts. Hall said our military stayed in Afghanistan way too long and the U.S. has made the same mistake in multiple countries.
“We did it in Somalia. We did it in Iraq. We did it in Afghanistan. Go in, go after the terrorists, get them, kill them if necessary and get out,” Hall said.
Hobson added that there’s no going back after the terror attacks. From the security changes we see at airports to our thinking about our own national security.
“Certainly 9/11 is engrained on everybody who could recognize what was happening that day and it will be with them forever,” Hobson said.
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