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September 11, 2001 is a day that the world will always remember.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

At 8:45 a.m. on September 11, 2001, an American Airlines Boeing 767, Flight 11, collided into the World Trade Center’s north tower in New York City immediately killing hundreds of people and trapping hundreds more in the 110-story skyscraper. Only 18 minutes later, a second Boeing 767, United Airlines Flight 175, flew into the south tower. Both towers afire, burning debris covered the surrounding buildings and the streets below while hundreds jumped from the towers to their deaths in an attempt to escape. About 30 minutes later, a third plane, American Airlines Flight 77, crashed into the west side of the Pentagon near Washington, D.C. and a fourth plane, United Flight 93, crash-landed into a field in Pennsylvania killing all 40 souls onboard. Meanwhile, both World Trade Center towers collapsed into a terrifying and deadly inferno of rubble.

September 11th is now known as "Patriot Day” in the United States and is observed as the National Day of Service and Remembrance of the victims of the 9/11 attacks. Across the country, numerous events are held on this day to honor the loss of thousands of lives. There are also three somber and beautiful memorial sites dedicated to remembering the victims of 9/11: The Flight 93 National Memorial is located at the site of the crash of United Airlines Flight 93 about 2 miles north of Shanksville, Pennsylvania; The National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial located in Arlington, Virginia, honors the loss of 184 people who died on September 11 and The National September 11 Memorial & Museum, a nonprofit in New York City, remembers and honors the 2,983 people killed in the horrific attacks as well as hundreds more who risked their lives to save others and all who demonstrated extraordinary compassion in the aftermath of the attacks. A Callery pear tree that miraculously survived within the rubble of Ground Zero, now known as the "Survivor Tree," stands tall and thriving.

It's been said that following the 9-11 Terrorist Attacks, "Americans came together as they had not come together since World War II." We all came together that day because we realized we were all in this together, that any one of us could have been in those buildings or on those planes.

So all over America, people went back to work with purpose. Military, firefighters and police and rescue teams risked their lives for no reason or reward but to save the innocent. Prejudges and discrimination faded, and we set about in common cause. That special something we found that day and days that immediately followed, is deeply ingrained in the American character. We put aside those things that set us apart, and recognized that for all our differences, we are - first of all - Americans.

You are encouraged to pay tribute to the many victims and their families in honor of their selfless service and sacrifices. Even the smallest act of service, the simplest act of kindness, is a way to honor those we lost, a way to reclaim that spirit of unity that followed 9/11.

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