It could have been my last day on earth!

On the morning of September 11, 2001, 19 hijackers took control of 4 commercial airliners en route to San Francisco and Los Angeles from Boston, Newark, and Washington, D.C. (Washington Dulles International Airport).

At 8:46 a.m., American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the World Trade Center’s North Tower, followed by United Airlines Flight 175 which hit the South Tower at 9:03 a.m.

Another group of hijackers flew American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon at 9:37 a.m. A fourth flight, United Airlines Flight 93 crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania at 10:03 a.m, after the passengers on board engaged in a fight with the hijackers. Its ultimate target was thought to be either the Capitol (the meeting place of the United States Congress) or the White House.

The death toll of the attacks was 2,996, including the 19 hijackers.

My husband Paul and I were supposed to have an important business meeting in the area of the World Trade Center in New York City around the time when the planes by the terrorists struck the Twin Towers.

A day or two before the meeting was supposed to take place, the other party requested to have the meeting pushed back by a few hours. If this did not happen, who knows what would have happened to us. We could have been two more victims in this horrific tragedy. This day has forever changed both our lives and countless others. We are lucky to be alive.

Because of this day, I decided to change the world through chess (starting with creating the Susan Polgar Foundation not long after that). Because of this day, I became energized to make a difference for the sport I love. Because of this day, I became committed to make a difference for future generations.

How did this day change you?

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