A different slant on terror

A different slant on terror

By Joe Baker

By Joe Baker

Senior Editor

The following is something positive to come from the recent tragedy. Hope is not dead in this situation. This was composed by Joe Vela of the Shriners Hospital for Children, Houston, Texas.

By now everyone has been hearing the death toll rise and reports of the destruction from the terrorist attacks on the U.S. These were deplorable acts that we will never forget. But now is a time to look at the other side of the numbers coming out of New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.

The sad but somewhat uplifting side that the mainstream media has not reported yet is the SURVIVAL rates and some positive news about the attacks.

The buildings

The twin towers of the World Trade Center were places of employment for some 50,000 people. With the missing list of just over 5,000 people, that means 90 percent of the people targeted survived the attack. A 90 percent on a test is an ‘A.’

Some 23,000 people were the target of a third plane aimed at the Pentagon. The recent count showed only 123 lost their lives. That is an amazing 99.5 percent survival rate. In addition, the plane seems to have come in too low, too early to affect a large portion of the building. On top of that, the section that was hit was the first of five sections to undergo renovations that would help protect the Pentagon from terrorist attacks. It had recently completed straightening and blast proofing, saving untold lives. This attack was sad, but a statistical failure.

The planes

American Airlines Flight 77—This Boeing 757 that was flown into the outside of the Pentagon could have carried up to 289 people, yet only 64 were aboard. Luckily, 78 percent of the seats were empty.

American Airlines Flight 11—This Boeing 767 could have had up to 351 people aboard, but only carried 92. Thankfully, 74 percent of the seats were unfilled.

United Airlines Flight 93—This Boeing 757 was one of the most uplifting stories yet. The smallest flight to be hijacked, with only 45 people aboard out of a possible 289, had 84 percent of its capacity unused. Yet these people stood up to the attackers and thwarted a fourth attempted destruction of a national landmark, saving untold numbers of lives in the process.


Out of potentially 74,280 Americans directly targeted by these inept cowards, 93 percent survived or avoided the attacks. That’s a higher survival rate than heart attacks, breast cancer, kidney transplants and liver transplants, all common, survivable illnesses.

The hijacked planes were mostly empty, the Pentagon was hit at its strongest point, the overwhelming majority of people in the World Trade Center buildings escaped, and a handful of passengers gave the ultimate sacrifice to save even more lives.

With full respect for the lives lost in our national tragedy, don’t fear these terrorists. The odds are against them.

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