Remembering 9/11, Twenty Years Later

Posted by on Sep 8, 2021 in Top Stories

Twenty years ago, on September 11, 2001, millions of Americans were going about their business on a regular Tuesday. That morning fourteen members of the terrorist group al-Qaeda hijacked four passenger jets. The terrorists deliberately crashed two of the planes into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City causing the buildings to collapse. A third plane crashed into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. On the fourth plane, passengers fought back. They diverted the plane from its Washington, D.C., destination and caused the plane to crash in a field in Pennsylvania.

These attacks resulted in over 3,000 deaths. These events led the Bush administration to begin the War on Terror in Iraq and Afghanistan. This coming weekend, September 10 through September 12, 2021, cities across the country will remember the lives lost that fateful day. Here, btw takes a closer look at some of the ceremonies planned in honor of the twentieth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

9/11 Memorial & Museum

At the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York City, New York, family members of victims will gather to read the names of their loved ones aloud. There will also be six moments of silence: one for when each of the World Trade Center towers was struck; one for when each of the buildings fell; one for the attack on the Pentagon; and one for the crash of Flight 93 in Pennsylvania. Local places of worship will also sound their bells at these times. This service will take place in the morning. In the evening, the sky will be illuminated at sundown in the annual “Tribute in Light.” The Memorial will be open to the public from 3:00 pm to 12:00 am.

close up of September 11 Memorial plaque in New York City
There are many September 11th remembrances planned across the country this weekend. Credit: Larry Merz/E+/Getty Images

New York City

Throughout New York City, different museums and other institutions will be providing a variety of ways for visitors to “never forget” the events of September 11, 2001. The Brooklyn Museum will offer socially distanced yoga and meditation to help people cope with the remembered trauma of that day. The Godwin-Ternbach Museum will display six oversized photographs of the Tribute in Light, as well as other materials focusing on the day. The Lincoln Center will provide a live-streamed performance of the Table of Silence Project 9/11.

The Metropolitan Opera will perform Verdi’s Requiem. The Museum of the City of New York will screen two documentaries about 9/11. The New York Botanical Garden will host a poetry reading. The National Archives will host a panel discussion about “Selfless Service and Sacrifice.” And the New York Historical Society will play captioned videos of New Yorkers telling their stories about that day, along with displaying the door of a fire engine that responded to the call.

Walking to Remember

In order to honor and remember those who were lost in the attacks, an organization called Tunnel to Towers has begun a 42-day, five hundred mile walk from Washington, D.C., to New York City. Led by the organization’s founder, Frank Siller the walk will also make stops at the Pentagon and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania: the site of the crash of Flight 93. Frank Siller’s brother Stephen Siller was a New York City firefighter who died while responding to the attacks. In the past twenty years, Tunnel to Towers has raised more than $250 million to provide support to the families of first responders who were killed or wounded in the attacks.

Dig Deeper Ask a parent, family member, or teacher who experienced September 11, 2001, to tell you about their remembrances of that day. Ask them to share their personal story with you, rather than a recounting of national events. Write a paragraph describing their story in your own words. Share these stories in small groups or, if time permits, with your whole class.