9/11: 20 Years Ago

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Neely Burns, Editor-in-Chief

It has been 20 years since the attack on the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001, and the nation continues to make sure that we “Never Forget” the loss of that fatal day.

On the morning of September 11, 2001, four planes were hijacked by Al-Qaeda terrorists. The first plane struck the North Tower of the World trade center, and many who surveyed the scene assumed it was a tragic accident. However, when the second plane struck the South tower, it became clear that there had been no accident. Just from the World Trade Center attacks, 2,606 people were killed. The third hijacked plane hit the Pentagon, killing 125 people. The fourth and final airplane crashed into a field in Pennsylvania since the passengers heard of the other attacks, overtook the terrorists and directed the plane into the field to ensure that no others were hurt. All in all, 2,977 people were killed on that tragic morning in American history.

At the time, President Bush was visiting a second grade classroom. When the second plane hit the World Trade Center,  White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card  told President Bush calmly and quietly, “America is under attack.” Due to his reaction to the attacks on the day of and weeks after, President Bush’s approval rating soared to 90%, the highest ever recorded for a president.

On the 20th Anniversary of this event, the nation stood together once again in mourning of the lives lost that day. President Biden, former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, as well as their wives attended a memorial service of the attacks on the World Trade Center, where the names of the dead were read off in remembrance. In addition, the New York Mets and Yankees played baseball against one another that day, but they began the game with a heartfelt ceremony in which the players stood together for the national anthem, wearing clothing to honor the first responders and lives lost that day.

Although the event was now over 20 years ago, we must never forget the lives lost on that fatal day in our nation’s history. As Sandy Dahl famously said. “No day shall erase you from the memory of time.”