#September11th: Remembering The 9/11 Jumpers

#September11th: Remembering The 9/11 Jumpers

#September11th:  Remembering The 9/11 Jumpers

It’s been 14 years since the September 11th attacks when 19 Al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked airplanes, slamming them into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and crashing into the Pennsylvania countryside. The shock of these events, witnessed by the world, has still not fully dissipated for many – especially those who witnessed the 9/11 Jumpers.

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From 110 stories, looking up in a bright morning sky, it was impossible at first to see what it was that was falling. One witness said it looked like confetti. Or perhaps it was debris. There was a desperate attempt to escape as the World Trade Center towers burned around them by office workers who hurled chairs and tables through windows to reach fresh air while they waited to be rescued. In those early minutes, a rescue operation seemed plausible to them.

Then two women on the ground, staring up at the gaping hole left in the North Tower by American Airlines Flight 11, clutched at each other and started screaming. It wasn’t confetti or debris. It was people falling from the towers. Trapped above the point of impact in Towers 1 & 2, many witnesses concluded that they were jumping.

They chose to jump rather than die from the fire and smoke.


The story of the victims who jumped to their deaths is one of the more poignant aspects of the September 11th attacks. It is most certainly one of the harder aspects for me to deal with – even after 14 years. Photographs of people falling to their deaths shocked the world. Most newspapers and magazines ran only one or two photos, then chose to not publish any more.

But the few images that were out there, like The Falling Man, resonated with unbelief. Many who survived or witnessed the attacks on the WTC say the sight of victims jumping to a certain death is their most horrible memory of that day.

It is estimated that at least 200 people jumped to their deaths that morning, far more than can be seen in the photographs available to the public. Nearly all were from the north tower, which you will remember was hit first and collapsed last. Fewer than a dozen of the jumpers were from the south tower.

The jumping started shortly after the first jet hit at 8:46 a.m. People jumped continuously during the 102 minutes that the north tower stood. Two people jumped as the north tower began to fall at 10:28 a.m., witnesses said. For those who jumped, the fall lasted just 10 seconds. They struck the ground at 125 miles per hour — not fast enough to cause unconsciousness while falling, but fast enough to ensure instant death on impact.

Desperate people jumped from all four sides of the north tower. They jumped alone, they jumped in pairs and they jumped in groups. They jumped holding hands. The eyewitness accounts are painful. This, from FBI ASAC Wes Wong who was on site that day and witnessed the jumping:

”After 9/11, a lot of us who were there that morning were asked, ‘What was the worst trauma for you?’ and everybody expects us to say, ‘It was the buildings collapsing.’ I think for most of us — if not all of us — it was the jumpers. You saw people up there in the open windows, and you knew they didn’t want to jump, but the heat was becoming so great I guess that they decided they couldn’t wait any longer. And they would jump out.”

Wong paused… and continued, “The hardest ones for me were the couples. There were couples that would get up in the windows and they would be holding hands and they would look at each other one last time, and they would leap out together. They would hold hands as long as they could, until gravity pulled them apart.”

It seems some would prefer to avoid the topic of The 9/11 Jumpers; relegating it to a dark corner of the September 11th story for some reason. However, I will say this because it needs to be understood: when they hit the pavement, their bodies weren’t just broken, but completely obliterated. To see this, repeatedly, is beyond devastating. How those who witnessed this horrible event ever recover is beyond me. If you choose, you can watch a video below about the 9/11 jumpers but a caution: it’s sad and painful to watch. And remember, we must never forget what the terrorists did to us on that day.

Nobody survived on the floors from which people jumped. Ultimately the 9/11 jumpers – often called the day’s most public victims – chose not whether to die but how they would die. I am quite certain I would not have such courage.

Lan astaslem. I will not submit.

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  • Appalled By The World says:

    Horrible. Yet we were supposed to feel so sorry for the terrorist pigs that caused all this at Gitmo when they were supposedly being tortured? I think not-what might have been done to them was nothing compared to what they masterminded. The fact that any of those bastards are still alive in relative comfort at our expense FOURTEEN years later disgusts me beyond words.

    • Kate says:

      disgusting and infuriating.

    • Gail says:

      I’ll be damned if I’ll feel one bit sorry for those terrorists! I hope they burn in hell. They will get no sympathies from me! I’m not a heartless person, I just believe when you do EVIL, you get what you deserve! And that goes for ANYONE WHO DOES EVIL…I don’t accept any excuses. Don’t tell me you had to because of your religion or your race or some group you belong to!!! EVIL exists but I will not condone ANYTHING it does.

      I WILL NEVER FORGET WHAT HAPPENED ON SEPT. 11, 2001. My heart still hurts & I don’t even know anyone who died or even lost someone. I hurt because EVIL attacked & hurt my country! To that I say, “NO MORE!!!” As for ODrama’s bull manure deal with Iran…I’m scared we will probably (definitely) in for more heartbreak like 9/11. If not here on USA’s soil, in Israel or other countries that Iran wants “wiped off the face of the earth”.
      Only one thing I am thankful for…my dad passed in the spring of 2000. He did not have to see this nightmare unfold. I know it would have just destroyed him. His health was poor at the end & I could just see him dying watching the news footage. Thank the God Lord he didn’t.

  • Lisa Carr says:

    I’ve had the opportunity to go to GITMO. They don’t take the measures they do with their service members there because these cowards are poor, tortured souls. They’re not these sweet little Muslim men who write poetry and sing love songs in their cells. I wish some people in our country would stop trying to see their “compassionate” side-because there is no compassionate side. They hate us. They want us obliterated. They hate what we stand for. End of story. It’s that simple but some don’t get it.

    • Gail says:

      I swear bleeding hearts are going to be the death of the country I love. And to think ODrama wants 10,000 Syrian “refugees” an open invitation to our home!! What a better place for a terrorist to hide, in plain sight!!! Hey, those who flew the planes into the towers, Pentagon & forced down into the field….they were “students” in our country. And no one ever thought, “Hey, they might just be a problem.” How pathetic is that? So pathetic that it cost far too many human lives.

  • Mike says:

    The jumpers put a face on the terror that was experienced that day. We are told that the images are “too inflammatory” to show.
    Heaven forbid that we remember the horror and anger we felt that day and remember the resolve we had that it never happen again.

    Funny how the “too inflammatory to show” standard never seems to apply to incidents such as Rodney King or other confrontations with police.

    Thanks for bringing it up again. We should never forget.

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  • Penny says:

    This is a facet of the horror that was 9/11/01 that is not allowed by the Liberal Obamobots these days. It might taint our “feelings” about Muslims, donchaknow. In fact, Facebook is blocking pictures and film footage when they can…I was surprised that yours was viewable.
    I clearly remember the sound of the bodies hitting during some of the live coverage, it stunned my heart then, as it does today.

    Wasn’t Father Mychal Judge killed by a falling body?!

    Thank you, Kate!! This diabolical attack is just almost inconceivable…we must remember what these people are capable of as they keep roaring across western civilization…..AGAIN!! They have not given up on their crusade for world dominance!!

    • Appalled By The World says:

      The worst thing about this is that the current regime of traitors in DC is actively aiding this crusade so that future 9/11’s and worse can happen.

  • Eleanor O'Neill says:

    I can’t begin to imagine the choice these people had to make. The alternative to jumping would have been long and terribly painful. Whatever reason those individuals had to jump it couldn’t have been easy. If I had to face the fact that I’m going to die, I think my choice would be to jump, I wouldn’t allow these terrorists to end my life. My heart goes out to all the 9/11 victims and their families.

  • Laureen says:

    Poignant article. We must not gloss over the horror of it. Thank you.

  • David R Byler says:

    Watching this today, I became aware that I would have had to turn off my oxygen concentrater to keep from killing people around me – and that that ten seconds on the way to the ground would have been ten seconds I wasn’t going to get any other way. Jumping would have been a decision for life – as much of it as there was going to be … somehow that realization deepened the horror ………

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