a few thoughts on 9/11, five years later

12 09 2006

A few thoughts on 9/11, after seeing a few television specials on it yesterday…

There are people still developing health problems from breathing in all the dust and smoke from the collapse of the World Trade Center.  That’s really sad.  We know about the people who lost their lives, but many people are still suffering from it in other ways.  And some people are still traumatized by it.  It had a much larger effect on our nation than most of us realize.

Some people speculate that the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center (WTC) couldn’t have fallen because of the jets crashing into it and the resulting fire (and so they think it was a conspiracy by President Bush).  But according to one group that researched this, the floor trusses weren’t very fireproof, and they were weakened by the fire and the jets plowing through many of them.  So the collapse wasn’t just because some of the main support beams were broken, but the floor trusses which support each floor and all the equipment on it were extremely damaged.  They weren’t extraordinarily strong in the first place, but having many broken, some burning, and a jumbo jet in the building was a lot more than it was designed to withstand.  The floor trusses also give support to the main support beams, so they were weakened when many of these were destroyed.  And once the top of the building started falling, the bottom part couldn’t withstand the impact.  And so great was the fall of it.

Osama bin Laden actually created dissension in al-Qaeda for not offering the U.S. a chance to convert to Islam before killing people.  Apparently he was supposed to do that even in the radical version of Islam.  He’s since done so in some videos, and now he’s been authorized by some of their religious leaders to kill 10 million Americans.

Why isn’t the Freedom Tower built yet?  They haven’t even started on it!  I realize this is a complicated endeavor involving millions of dollars, but it’s been 5 years…

One last thing… the U.S. still isn’t very safe.  We still aren’t protecting our borders, and the different branches of the government aren’t working together well to share information.  I know it’s a huge ordeal, way more complicated than I know, and there are politics involved, but you’d think on something so urgent they’d find a way to cut through the red tape and politics to get it done.  Is it going to take another big disaster before we make much progress in improving our national security?




One response

17 09 2006

Here’s an excerpt from an article which elaborates on the issue of fire in the Twin Towers weakening the steel support beams :

Jet fuel burns at 800° to 1500°F, not hot enough to melt steel (2750°F). However, experts agree that for the towers to collapse, their steel frames didn’t need to melt, they just had to lose some of their structural strength — and that required exposure to much less heat. … Steel loses about 50 percent of its strength at 1100°F. … While the jet fuel was the catalyst for the WTC fires, the resulting inferno was intensified by the combustible material inside the buildings, including rugs, curtains, furniture and paper. NIST reports that pockets of fire hit 1832°F.

You can read the rest here.

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