Monday is Patriot Day, which marks the 22nd anniversary of 9/11 terrorist attacks. On this day in 2001, almost 3,000 people were killed in a series of coordinated attacks involving commercial airplanes.
The attacks started at 8:46 a.m. when hijackers aboard American Airlines Flight 11 crashed the plane into the north tower of the World Trade Center, killing everyone on board and hundreds inside the building. Just 17 minutes later, hijackers crash United Airlines Flight 175 into the World Trade Center’s south tower, killing all on board and more inside the trade center. Thousands more died when both towers crashed down less than an hour after being attacked.
The 9/11 attacks weren’t limited to New York. Flight 77 crashed into the western façade of the Pentagon at 9:37 a.m., killing 50 people on board and 125 inside the Washington, D.C., home of the Department of Defense. A fourth plane crashed in a field near Shanksville, killing all on board as passengers and crew attempted to wrest control from the hijackers. Among the fatalities that day were 343 firefighters, 72 law enforcement officers and 55 military personnel.
Today is officially called “Patriot Day,” a national day of service and remembrance that commemorates the catastrophic events of Sept. 11, 2001. On every anniversary, the names of the victims who died in the trade center are read aloud and services are also held at the Pentagon and near Shanksville, Pa.
“These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat,” former President George W. Bush said on the day of the attacks. “But they have failed. Our country is strong. A great people has been moved to defend a great nation.”
Many stories of courage and renewed faith remain from that day.
“I may never know the answers to the questions that plagued me after 9/11,” survivor Mchael Hingson said. “But I know if we lean on God and each other, we will be guided to a better, brighter future.”
–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice