Those who were alive during the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001 can probably remember exactly where they were seated, were standing, or precisely what they were doing when the news that a coordinated terrorist plan in the form of airplanes kamikazeing into U.S. landmarks was mostly successfully executed on American soil.
Phone lines were overwhelmed with calls to New York, Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania. Families and friends desperately tried to call to no avail, and for the last time, some reached loved ones in the attacked areas.
America was brought to its knees as office workers plunged to their deaths from the former Twin Towers, as first responders used every ounce of skill and energy to evacuate, and rescue innocent, everyday people from landmark buildings burning with jet fuel, as airplanes were used as moving missiles that pierced the heart of United States defense, the Pentagon. And as an airplane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania when its brave passengers fought the terrorists head on to save it from hitting another U.S. target.
Led by Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda, an extremist Islamic sect’s attack on America, was a mighty lash “allegedly in retaliation for America’s support of Israel, its involvement in the Persian Gulf War and its continued military presence in the Middle East” according to history.com.
Fatalities in Numbers
Outside of the 19 hijackers 2,977 office workers, first responders including firefighters, paramedics, New York City Police officers, Port Authority police, passengers, pilots, and crew were killed in New York, Washington D.C., and Pennsylvania.
“On July 29, 2019, the US Government authorized support for the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund through 2092. Vocal lobbyists for the fund included Jon Stewart, 9/11 first responder John Feal and retired New York Police Department detective and 9/11 responder Luis Alvarez, who died of cancer 18 days after testifying before Congress.”
Michael Arad designed the breathtaking and somber reflecting pools named, “Reflecting Absence”, with waterfalls where the iconic Twin Towers once stood. To feel the engraving of every single name of every life taken, hearing the rushing waters in their memory, beholding and remembering that this is a memorial and a gravesite reminds visitors of the horror this nation suffered in one day and the staggering recovery afterward.
The site was opened to the public on September 11, 2011, to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of 9/11. The National September 11 Memorial & Museum followed, opening on the original World Trade Center site in May 2014. The Freedom Tower, also on the original World Trade Center site, opened in November 2014.
The Memorial opens for 9/11 families the morning of 9/11/2020, and at 3 PM EST to the general public.
We continue to reflect and pray for restoration and healing for the grieving, remembering loved ones, recovering in health, and relearning how to live and cherish life each day.