For some Americans, September 11, 2001, feels like yesterday, but for others, it may feel like distant history because it was a traumatic event for so many. The day started with such promise on a sunny, picture-perfect fall day, but no one who woke up that morning, heading to work or to the airport, knew the tragedy that lay ahead. As we mark the 20th anniversary of 9/11, we remember all of those who lost their lives on that day and honor the heroic acts of first responders and ordinary citizens, who went above the call of duty to help others in need.
The downtown site in New York City is now marked by a memorial, a museum and the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. The Pentagon has stone benches that honor the lives lost in the building and on Flight 77. Shanksville, Pennsylvania also built a moving Tower of Voices to observe the courageous members of Flight 93. And Boston’s Logan International Airport, the site where two of the flights originated from, memorializes American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175.
The beautiful memorials represent a tragedy, but they also shine a light on the incredible feeling of love demonstrated in the days following the event — one that President Obama highlighted in his radio address in honor of the 10th anniversary. “Even the smallest act of service, the simplest act of kindness, is a way to honor those we lost, a way to reclaim that spirit of unity that followed 9/11,” he said.
We will never forget and our hearts are with the families who lost their loved ones on 9/11.