The largest terrorist attack in American history claimed the lives of nearly 3,000 people. Millions of Americans are still able to recall what happened on that day more than 20 years later.
What is 9/11
The September 11 attacks, also known as the 9/11 attacks, were a string of hijackings of airplanes and suicide bombings against American targets carried out in 2001 by 19 militants linked to the Islamic extremist group al-Qaeda. They were the deadliest terrorist attacks ever to take place on American ground. The attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C. resulted in a great deal of death and destruction. They led to a massive American effort to fight terrorism.
A total of 19 terrorists were killed, 2,750 victims in New York, 184 at the Pentagon, and 40 in Pennsylvania, where one of the hijacked planes crashed after the passengers tried to retake it.
Here are six 9/11 memorial sites you can visit, learn more and discover what happened on this date:
Postcards, Staten Island, New York City
274 residents of Staten Island were among the nearly 3,000 fatalities on 9/11. They are honored by the creation of this memorial by local architect Masayuki Sono. Two huge fiberglass structures that resemble folded postcards make up the piece, which was inspired by the art of origami paper folding.
Postcards is a collection of nine by eleven-inch granite plaques that are carved into silhouettes and point directly across the harbor toward the location of the former World Trade Center. Each plaque honors a deceased resident of Staten Island, as well as the lone Staten Islander who died during the World Trade Center bombings on February 26, 1993. The memorial, situated on the North Shore Waterfront Esplanade, is reachable via a short walk from the Staten Island Ferry Terminal. Postcards serve as a cemetery for those who passed away. As many of the victims' bodies were never pulled from the wreckage.
New York City's 9/11 Memorial & Museum
The 9/11 Memorial & Museum is a pair of interconnected memorial and educational centers dedicated to remembering and educating people about the lives lost on September 11, 2001, at the World Trade Center, in the Pentagon, on United Airlines Flight 175, as well as on American Airlines Flights 11 and 77.
The outdoor 9/11 Memorial, which is tucked inside the twin towers' former foundations, includes the largest man-made waterfalls in North America and reflecting pools almost an acre in size. While the 9/11 Museum is the only national museum of its kind that is solely focused on documenting the events of 9/11 and the ongoing effects of the attacks on the nation's politics and culture. The museum hosts both traveling and permanent exhibits, which promotes return visits to view these events from various angles.
The museum has an admission fee, while the memorial is free.
Reflect 9/11 Memorial Sculpture, Rosemead, California
To honor September 11, a variety of talented artists throughout the country have produced beautiful works of art. One of them is Heath Satow, a sculptor from Los Angeles who created Reflect. A massive metal structure made of two hands lifting a single 10-foot, 500-pound steel I-beam. It was recovered from the rubble of the World Trade Center. Satow welded together 3,000 four-and-a-half-inch stainless steel "bird-like" cutouts to create the piece, which was dedicated on the 10th anniversary of the attacks. Each piece served as a representation of one of the nearly 3,000 victims of the September 11 attacks.
In Rosemead, a city 10 miles east of Los Angeles, the memorial is situated in front of the city hall. Satow claimed that he purposefully made the cutouts random in an interview with The Los Angeles Times in 2011 because many people compared them to angels.
Washington, D.C.'s National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial
The National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial, established on September 11, 2008, is a lovely outdoor area sheltered by 85 crape myrtle trees. The memorial has 184 memorial units, which are benches with the names of fallen service members or civilians engraved on them and surrounded by a lit water pool. The people on American Airlines Flight 77, which terrorists hijacked and crashed into the Pentagon. As well as all other victims of the attack are remembered by these benches.
Pennsylvania's Flight 93 National Memorial
It is close to where United Airlines Flight 93 went down in Somerset County, Pennsylvania's Stonycreek Township. Shanksville is the town that is most nearby to the crash site. The crew and passengers wrestled control of the aircraft away from the terrorist hijackers, purposely crashing it to save lives and prevent another attack on the United States Capitol.
The memorial is located 60 miles southeast of Pittsburgh and two miles north of Shanksville. Visitors are invited to explore the whole of the outdoor memorial as well as the Visitor Center to learn more about the memorial's design and the 40 passengers and crew it honors. This memorial and its surroundings are constantly maintained by the National Park Service.
Moving Memories, Phoenix, Arizona
The Moving Memories monument was designed by Eddie Jones and coLAB Studio, a group of artists and architects based nearby Tempe. Transforms throughout the day by utilizing Phoenix's roughly 300 days of sunshine. The stainless steel panels that make up the circular structure, which is situated in the heart of Phoenix, are adorned with 54 laser-cut inscriptions that cast shadows on the ground below.
The inscriptions serve as a timeline of the attacks. In addition to the significant occurrence of 9/11, they contain information about the tragedies in Washington, D.C., New York City, and Pennsylvania.
Memorials are significant and aid our ability to process the past. These memorials are a way to honor particular people and remember the tragedy that affected entire populations.
Take time to drop by these places. Visit one of the 9/11 memorials to pay tribute to those who died.