Text reads: The Mysteries of Life with Tim and Moby.
Tim and Moby are walking around in New York City. They arrive at the 9/11 Memorial.
TIM: I think this is it.
They walk to an outdoor informational display. There is a sheet of paper taped to it. Tim removes it. Tim reads from a typed letter.
TIM: Dear Tim and Moby, I know that the Twin Towers fell on 9/11. But why would someone do that? From, Tyffani. Hmm. This is a tough one. Maybe we should go over what happened first. The morning of September 11, 2001, started off as your average Tuesday. People went to work, kids went to school, and pretty much everyone went about their business as usual.
An animation shows people going about their business in downtown New York City.
TIM: At 8:46 AM, though, everything changed.
Pedestrians stop to look at something in the sky. There is a loud crash, and the screen goes dark.
TIM: At that moment, an airplane full of passengers flew into one of the Twin Towers. Those were the two tallest structures of the World Trade Center in downtown New York City.
An animation shows the Twin Towers. One of them is smoking where it has been hit.
TIM: All of the people in the plane were killed, and so were many of the people in the building.
TIM: I know. Then, about 20 minutes later, a second plane flew into the other tower. It was then that people started to realize that this was no accident. It was an attack.
A series of still images shows a plane hitting the second tower.
TIM: It was clear that the planes had been hijacked, or forcefully taken over. Shortly after that, there was another plane crash, but this time it was at the Pentagon, right outside Washington, D.C. The Pentagon is the headquarters of the U.S. Department of Defense.
An animation shows a television news report of the plane hitting the Pentagon. Text reads: Breaking News, Plane Crash at Department of Defense.
TIM: Next, the unthinkable happened. Back in New York, the South Tower of the World Trade Center collapsed. It was a devastating blow. Debris flew everywhere, and all of downtown Manhattan was covered in a cloud of dust and smoke.
An animation shows the Manhattan skyline. The tower collapses as Tim describes, and dust and smoke spread through Manhattan.
TIM: Fortunately, most people were able to get out of the tower before it fell. But many others, including firefighters and police officers who had gone in to help, were trapped and killed.
Moby looks sad.
TIM: Well, the building had actually been designed to handle small crashes, but nothing like this. The fuel from the airplane ignited an enormous fire that destroyed the skyscraper's internal structure. It was the same problem at the North Tower, and at 10:28 AM, it, too, collapsed. Hundreds of people lost their lives in an instant.
An animation shows the second tower collapsing.
TIM: Around the time of the South Tower's collapse, another plane crashed in an empty field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
An animated map shows the location of the Pennsylvania crash.
TIM: This fourth hijacked plane was most likely intended to hit another building. But evidence suggests that passengers took the plane over from the hijackers, causing it to crash. There were no survivors.
TIM: Yeah. All told, almost 3,000 civilians lost their lives that day. It was the worst attack on U.S. soil since the bombing of Pearl Harbor in Hawaii in 1941.
An animation shows the Pearl Harbor attack.
TIM: Right. So, let's talk a little bit about why all this happened. The hijacking of planes like this is a form of terrorism.
An animation shows a plane flying in the sky.
TIM: You should see our "Terrorism" movie to learn more, but the main idea is that terrorism is an act of violence designed to spread fear in others, and to attract attention to a political cause. We now know that the September 11th attacks were carried out by 19 members of a terrorist network called al Qaeda.
A diagram illustrates connections between the September 11th hijackers.
TIM: The main goal of al Qaeda is to make countries that are predominantly Islamic get rid of all non-Islamic influences.
TIM: Islam is one of the world's major religions.
An image shows a large mosque, or Islamic house of worship.
TIM: There are 1.5 billion Muslims in countries all over the globe. They practice dozens of different versions of Islam.
An image shows a group of Muslims in prayer.
TIM: But al Qaeda subscribes to a twisted form of the religion.
An image shows al Qaeda's emblem.
TIM: It's centered around ridding the Islamic world of Western ideas, especially anything from the United States. And enforcing strict codes of behavior in Muslim societies.
An image shows a "no" symbol over an American flag. Then an image of a book and gavel appears, representing behavior codes.
TIM: Al Qaeda is willing to do anything to get its message heard, including using suicide bombers to kill innocent people.
An image shows a tall building in the sights of a weapon.
TIM: You might have heard that a man named Osama bin Laden was responsible for the events on 9177. Osama bin Laden was the head of the al Qaeda network.
An image shows Osama bin Laden.
TIM: He didn't personally take part in the attacks, but as al Qaeda's leader, bin Laden helped plan and carry the whole thing out.
TIM: Well, the United States responded to 9/11 by invading Afghanistan, a country that was harboring al Qaeda members.
A map shows the location of Afghanistan, between Iran and Pakistan.
TIM: Much of al Qaeda's organization was destroyed, and certain key leaders were killed. After nearly a decade in hiding, Osama bin Laden was eventually found and killed by the U.S. government. But even as al Qaeda has been weakened, other terrorist groups have sprung up in their place.
TIM: Back home, it's been hard to rebuild. Many lives were shattered in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks. But families, friends, and complete strangers pulled together to help out relatives and friends of the victims, both on the day of the attacks and in the weeks and months that followed.
An image shows a rescue worker carrying a man out of one of the Twin Towers. An animation shows a memorial for the firefighters who died that day.
TIM: Within a year, all physical damage to the Pentagon was repaired.
An image shows the repaired Pentagon.
TIM: It's been a much tougher rebuilding process here in New York, but things are looking up. By 2012, the new World Trade Center became the tallest building in New York.
An animation shows the new World Trade Center.
Moby is holding two T-shirts, one in each hand. He and Tim each put one of them on. Text on the T-shirts reads: I Heart NY, meaning I love New York.
TIM: I couldn't agree more.