On the morning of September 11, 2001, Mohamed Atta and Abdulaziz al-Omari hijacked and crashed American Airlines Flight 11 into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York at 8:46 am ET. In the chaos that followed, three other planes were hijacked. One plane rammed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center, another hit the Pentagon, and the third crashed in a field in Somerset County, Pennsylvania.
Around six thousand people were injured, and almost three thousand died during this terror attack and its aftermath, making it the deadliest attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor in 1941. Now, 17 years later, the wounds of this tragedy have still not fully healed, and the hurt is raw. This past September 11th, numerous observances were held in order to ensure that Americans never forget 9/11 and the lives that it took.
On the field in Shanksville, PA where the fourth plane crashed, the 40 passengers and crew members who died while trying to overpower their hijackers and regain control of their plane were honored. President Trump, who was present at Shanksville during the ceremony, called their actions “the moment when America fought back” and declared the field to be “a monument to American defiance.”
Located near this field, the Flight 93 Memorial serves as a tribute for the victims on board Flight 93, and the final part of this memorial was just erected two days before this year’s anniversary of 9/11. This final phase, called the “Tower of Voices,” is 93 feet tall and holds 40 wind chimes representing the 40 people killed. Each one of the 40 chimes supposedly has a distinct musical note.
In regards to this recently-built tower, the United States National Park Service said, “The Tower of Voices serves as both a visual and audible reminder of the heroism of the 40 passengers and crew. There are no other chime structures like this in the world.” He added, “The intent is to create a set of 40 tones that can signify through consonance the serenity and nobility of the site while also through dissonance recalling the event that consecrated the site.”
Meanwhile, just outside of Washington, D.C. this September 11th, Vice President Mike Pence and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis remembered the individuals who died when American Airlines Flight 77 slammed into the Pentagon. Pence honored the heroism of the first responders and declared that the terrorists “hoped to break our spirit, but they failed.”
In New York, countless people came together as the names of the those killed at Ground Zero were read aloud in a somber tribute. Numerous members of the victims’s families recalled the last time they ever spoke to their loved ones, and emotions ran high. One man who was there noted, “They say time heals all wounds, but there are wounds that leave the deepest scars that you just can’t get over.” 17 years after this devastating event, many people continue to mourn, and the tears still fall.
“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” -Psalm 34:18