Celebrities That Had Close Encounters With 9/11 Attacks

Photo: Getty Images via 9/11 Anniversary

It’s now been 17 years since the attacks on September 11th. In talking about our own memories and reminders from the day, there are also some stories from celebrities where they had close encounters from the day. 

Mark Wahlberg was supposed to board American Airlines Flight 11, along with Seth MacFarlane. Instead, he was invited to attend a film festival in Toronto and decided to charter a jet with some of his friends. Wahlberg stirred up quite a bit of controversy in later years by claiming that if he had been on that flight, he would have stopped the attacks from happening. He later apologized for his insensitive comment to the families of the victims of those who actually boarded the plane that morning.

Like Mark Wahlberg, Seth MacFarlane was supposed to board American Airlines Flight 11. MacFarlane had been out drinking the night before and had a history of missing flights. His travel agent also listed the flight time as being ten minutes later than it actually was. After failing to board the plane, he went to the passenger lounge to sleep it off. He awoke an hour later to the panicked sounds of other people at the airport who had just watched the plane hit the tower. After the second plane hit, the airline announced which flights had been involved in the attack. Macfarlane realized that the plane he was supposed to be on was the plane that crashed into the North Tower.

Rob Lowe flew with the hijackers on a dry run they performed 11 days before September 11th. Rob Lowe said, "I flew with the 911 hijackers on the dry run, without realizing. I was shooting 'The West Wing' in DC at the time and I always took the flight that leaves Dulles to Los Angeles that they eventually put into the Pentagon. It was 11 days before 9/11, I made the flight a lot and I didn’t think anything of it. I got on the flight and it was a packed, small plane. Following the attacks, Lowe nearly had to testify in court during the 2006 trial of one of the hijackers after receiving a letter from the Attorney General of Maryland. The actor was not called as a witness and until the letter, was unaware the terrorist had been on his flight.

In every day that has followed September 11, 2001, we remember. Each day and every year on the anniversary, we will remember those who lost their lives from these attacks and those first responders who risked their lives to help those that remained. 

Bobby Bones

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