The September 11 attacks, referred to as 9/11, were a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks by the Islamist group Al-Qaida, against the United States on the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001.
The attacks resulted in 2,977 fatalities, over 25,000 injuries, and substantial long-term health consequences, in addition to at least $
10 billion in infrastructure and property damage. It is the single deadliest terrorist attack in human history and the single deadliest incident for firefighters and law enforcement officers in the history of the United States, with 343 and 72 killed, respectively.
The hijacked Flight 11 was crashed into floors 93 to 99 of the North Tower (1 WTC) at 8:46 a.m. The hijacked Flight 175 struck floors 77 to 85 of the South Tower (2 WTC) 17 minutes later at 9:03 a.m. When the towers were struck, between 16,400 and 18,000 people were in the WTC complex. Of those, the vast majority evacuated safely. As they rushed out, first responders rushed in trying to save those still trapped or injured.
The fires from the impacts were intensified by the planes’ burning jet fuel. They weakened the steel support trusses, which attached each of the floors to the buildings’ exterior walls. Along with the initial damage to the buildings’ structural columns, this ultimately caused both towers to collapse. The five other buildings in the WTC complex were also destroyed because of damage sustained when the Twin Towers fell.
The collapse of the buildings left the site devastated. Thousands of volunteers came to Ground Zero to help with the rescue, recovery, and clean-up efforts, and on May 30, 2002, the last piece of WTC steel was ceremonially removed.
The heart of the mission of the 9/11 Memorial & Museum remains the annual commemoration ceremony. Family members will gather on the Memorial plaza while adhering to state and federal guidelines regarding social distancing and public gatherings.
As in years past, the focus of the commemoration will be the reading of the names. Out of an abundance of caution and in line with the guidance regarding social distancing, we will not ask family members to read the names of victims in person on a stage this year. Recorded readings of the names made by 9/11 family members for use in the Museum’s In Memoriam exhibition will instead be used for the 19th anniversary commemoration ceremony, ensuring that your loved one is recognized and remembered.