September 2011

The 10th Anniversary of 9/11: A Nation Remembers

National September 11 MemorialNational September 11 Memorial

National September 11 Memorial
Family members visited the new September 11 Memorial in New York City. The walls of the memorial list the names of all the people who lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks.

On Sunday, September 11, the United States observed the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. The attacks on September 11, 2001, were the deadliest acts of terrorism in American history. People across the country gathered to remember and honor those who lost their lives that day.

On the morning of September 11, 2001, terrorists hijacked four American airplanes and used them as weapons. The terrorists belonged to an extremist group from the Middle East called al-Qaeda. They flew two of the airplanes into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. Both of the towers caught fire and later collapsed. A third plane hit the Pentagon building near Washington, D.C. The fourth plane crashed into an empty field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

Nearly 3,000 innocent people were killed in the 9/11 attacks. Among the dead were hundreds of firefighters, police officers, and other emergency personnel, who died while rescuing thousands of people from the World Trade Center. About 14,000 people were safely evacuated from the Twin Towers that day.

A group of brave passengers on Flight 93, which crashed near Shanksville, overpowered the terrorists on their plane. Many believe the terrorists were planning to crash the plane into the U.S. Capitol building or the White House in Washington, D.C. The Flight 93 passengers stopped them from reaching their target. A memorial for those who lost their lives on Flight 93 was dedicated this year. At the dedication on September 10, former President George W. Bush spoke about the courage of the Flight 93 passengers:

“For generations people will study the flight,
the story of Flight 93. They will learn that
individual choices make a difference, that love
and sacrifice can triumph over evil and hate,
and that what happened above this Pennsylvania
field ranks among the most courageous acts in
American history.”

The National September 11 Memorial in New York City was dedicated on September 11 this year. The memorial was built where the Twin Towers once stood. During the dedication ceremony, family members read aloud the names of all the people who died in the 9/11 attacks. Six moments of silence marked the times when each of the planes crashed and when each tower fell. New York leaders and other guest speakers read passages from the Bible, poems, and other words of comfort.

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama attended ceremonies at all three 9/11 sites on September 11. That evening, President Obama spoke at the “Concert for Hope” at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. He talked about how in the face of challenges, America’s character only gets stronger:

“Today, it is worth remembering what has not
changed. Our character as a nation has not
changed. Our faith in God and each other
—that has not changed. Our belief in America,
born of a timeless ideal that men and women
should govern themselves; that all people are
created equal and deserve the same freedom
to determine their own destiny—that belief,
through tests and trials, has only been

After the attacks of September 11, 2001, the United States government launched a global war on terrorism. The U.S. government also created the Department of Homeland Security to help protect the nation from attacks. Today, extra security measures are taken across the country, especially at airports. In May 2011, al-Qaeda’s top leader Osama bin Laden was killed in Pakistan by U.S. Navy SEALs. However, the difficult war against terrorism continues.

Image credit: ©REUTERS/Jim Young

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Question 1
When did the 9/11 terrorist attacks happen?

Question 2
How many people were evacuated from the Twin Towers on 9/11?

Question 3
Where is the National September 11 Memorial located?

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