Today signifies the 18th anniversary of the tragic losses of America. Today we pray, honor, and respect the innocent lives lost along with the courageous heroes that served during 9/11 and to all the families that grieve. An estimated 3,000 lives, that total combines the passengers on all four planes, the 343 firefighters and paramedics, 23 NYC police officers and 37 Port Authority police officers who were struggling to evacuate the buildings and save the office employees caught on higher floors, as well as all the names of those taken by the 1993 truck bombing that took place at the Twin Towers.
September 11th, 2001, marks a day that changed the United States forever. The terrorist attack on 9/11 made a significant impact in New York on both the City and citizens across the country. That Tuesday morning, parents saw their children off to school, said goodbye to their spouses and went off to work, as usual. Little did everyone know it was about to take a toll for the worse, at 8:45 am an aircraft from American Airlines plummeted into the north tower of the World Trade Center. At first many thought it was just a mere accident then 18 minutes later a second aircraft from United Airlines crashed into the south tower. As havoc arose in the streets of New York, millions of residents came outside, and the view that they saw will never be forgotten. The site of the World Trade Center on fire, collapsing into the dark clouds of smoke that saturated the air, the overwhelming smoke transformed the bright sunny skies into dusk in just moments. The mortifying feeling swept across the country made it apparent, America was under attack. Leaving almost 2,763 innocent people dead alone in the Twin Towers, citizens of 78 countries lost their lives that day in total. An hour after the attack in New York, a third plane had been taken over by the Al Qaeda terrorists that led the flight crashing into the west side of the U.S. Pentagon in Virginia. A result of 125 military personnel and civilians lost their lives in the Pentagon that day, along with the 64 people aboard the plane. There was a fourth plane that was taken ahold of by terrorists; its destination is still unknown. The passengers chose to engage the hijackers to prevent another mass hit though they achieved that goal they were unable to get the plane to land safely. The aircraft flipped upside down and took a head-on run to the ground at 500 miles an hour, killing all 44 passengers inside. The overall mass terrorist attacks that day in America resulted in nearly 3,000 fatalities with thousands more severely injured. Sadly, this was not the first attack on the World Trade Center. On February 26th,1993, known as the first attack on the Twin Towers when a bomb detonated in a truck just below the North Tower in New York City.
In honor of every life lost, contributors created the 9/11 memorial and museum in New York City at the very place where it all happened. The Memorial consists of twin reflecting pools that are each approximately an acre in size and feature the largest manmade waterfalls in the United States. The pools occupy the grounds where the Twin Towers once stood. Architect Michael Arad and landscape architect Peter Walker built the Memorial design selected from a global plan discussion that included over 5,200 entries from 63 nations. The names of everyone that lost their lives in the 2001 and 1993 attacks are engraved into bronze panels that run across the borders of the Memorial pools. It is a powerful reminder of the most significant loss of life resulting from a foreign attack on American soil and the most considerable single loss of rescue personnel in American history. Eighteen years later we are here standing stronger than ever as a whole in American nothing can defeat us because united we stand. God Bless.