Over the course of the day, four airplanes were hijacked mid-flight by 19 members of the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda. Two planes crashed into the upper floors of the North and South towers (the Twin Towers) of the World Trade Center and one into the Pentagon. Passengers on the fourth plane (Flight 93) fought back and crashed into an empty field in western Pennsylvania. Overall, the attacks killed nearly 3,000 people and caused $10 billion in infrastructure damage.
Today, there are two memorials that serve as a tribute of remembrance and honor those who lost their lives during this tragic time. The National September 11 Memorial consists of two reflecting pools located where the Twin Towers once stood. Names of each person who died in the attacks are inscribed on bronze panels that surround each of the pools.
The Pentagon Memorial includes 184 memorial benches that are in the shape of airplane wings. Those who lost their lives on the plane are symbolized by airplane wings facing the Pentagon, while those who lost their lives inside the Pentagon are represented by airplane wings facing away from the Pentagon. Each bench has a victim’s name inscribed on it and a lighted pool of flowing water below it.
On October 7, 2001, former President George W. Bush announced that the United States was entering Afghanistan in attempt to oust the Taliban regime and destroy Osama bin Laden. The United States Army killed bin Laden on May 2, 2011.