Twenty Years Since 9/11

Saturday, September 11, 2021, marked 20 years since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. For those who are unaware of what happened on this day here is a recap: 19 hijackers crashed four planes in the United States. Two of the planes went into the Twin Towers in New York City, one plane crashed into the Pentagon just outside of Washington D.C., and the other plane crashed into Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The attacks were organized by al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden. The tragic attacks led to 2,996 people dying; including the hijackers on the planes, flight passengers, people in the Twin Towers, firefighters, military personnel at the Pentagon, law enforcement officers, and many more. This past Saturday was an incredibly difficult day for many Americans who lost loved ones, survived the attacks, or have been affected in other ways. 

Each year there are many different ways people honor the memory of those who lost their lives and since this year was the 20 year anniversary, a few special events took place. President Joe Biden and First Lady Kamala Harris attended the wreath-laying ceremony at the Pentagon in Washington D.C. to honor the 184 lives that were lost at the military headquarters. Biden and Harris also made a trip to Shanksville, Pennsylvania to pay tribute to those who lost family and friends in the Flight 93 crash. At the Shanksville Memorial Harris said, “In a time of outright terror, we turned toward each other. In the face of a stranger, we saw a neighbor and a friend. That time reminded us of the significance and the strength of our unity as Americans, and that it is possible in America.” George W. Bush, president during the time of 9/11, also spoke at the Shanksville Memorial saying, “Here, the intended targets became the instruments of rescue, and many who are now alive owe a vast, unconscious debt to the defiance displayed in the skies above this field.” Many sacrificed their lives to save those that are still here today, and it is important to honor the sacrifices of those people. Six moments of silence were held for the respect of the victims. The first moment of silence was held at 8:46 AM when the first plane hit the North Tower. The second moment was at 9:03 AM when the South Tower was hit. The third moment of silence was at 9:37 AM when the Pentagon was struck. The fourth moment of silence happened at 9:59 AM which was when the South Tower collapsed. The fifth moment was at 10:03 AM when the crash occurred in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The sixth and final moment of silence was held at 10:28 AM when the North Tower collapsed. The day ended with the Tribute in Light, which includes 88 vertical searchlights arranged in columns of lights to show where the Twin Towers used to stand. On this day it is important to take a moment and remember all who lost their lives during the attacks, especially on this 20 year anniversary.