9.11.2001 – Never Forget, Never Forgive

We Remember – On this day 19 years ago, on September 11, 2001, unimaginable horror struck America when four commercial flights were hijacked by armed Muslim terrorists who launched the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil.

Nearly two decades apart, the death toll connected to 9-11 continues to grow — as many of those who labored at Ground Zero have suffered debilitating illnesses related to their work in the recovery mission. The Fire Department, for example, lost 343 members during the attacks — and another 226 members in 19 years due to 9-11-related illnesses.

Having transformed so many aspects of daily life, the coronavirus pandemic will also affect one of the city’s most sacred and solemn moments this year.

The family members who arrive at the September 11 memorial’s eight-acre site in Lower Manhattan will be required to wear masks and stay socially distant. Everyone else will be discouraged from gathering near the spot known as ground zero.

There will be no platform where readers take turns at a microphone to recite the names of the victims; the list this year was read and recorded in advance and will be broadcast online and at the plaza.

On Sept. 11, 2001, nearly 3,000 people were murdered, including citizens of 77 countries, when 19 al-Qaeda Muslim terrorists hijacked four commercial airliners and utilized them in a series of coordinated terror attacks on American soil.

The terror attacks resulted in the destruction of the World Trade Center in New York City and also damaged the Pentagon, the headquarters of the United States military, in Arlington, Virginia. A fourth hijacked plane, believed to be bound for either the U.S. Capitol or the White House in Washington, D.C., crashed in southwestern Pennsylvania after the passengers fought back against the terrorists.

The repercussions of the attacks are still felt to this day, leading to greatly enhanced security screenings at airports and other transit hubs, the creation of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the launch of the War on Terror by the United States and its allied nations, which eventually led to the elimination of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in May 2011.