Today marks the 18th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States of America. Nearly two decades later, our country has not forgotten the sacrifices made on that fateful day. First responders and their families still bear the brunt of these lasting impacts, but with the passage of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act on July 23, 2019, the United States has vowed once again to truly never forget.
The 9/11 attacks were a series of four coordinated hijackings of commercial passenger airplanes, all departing from airports in the northeastern United States and bound for the West Coast. Two of the planes crashed into the North and South Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. A third plane crashed into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, and the fourth, barreling towards the nation’s capital, was diverted into a rural Pennsylvania field after passengers heroically overtook the hijackers. On that day, 2,996 people lost their lives, and over 6,000 were injured. Many families are still dealing with the fallout.
In addition to being the deadliest terrorist attack in our nation’s history, September 11 was also the deadliest day for firefighters and law enforcement officers, with 343 and 72 lives lost respectively. The Port Authority alone lost 37 of its police officers, the most of any United States police department on a single day.
Though time has passed, we will never cease to honor those who lost their lives. Every day, every month and every anniversary is a reminder of the sacrifices made by our first responders, and why we must continue fighting to preserve their memory and support those who are still afflicted. Without these heroic individuals who put their lives on the line, our country would have far more casualties.
On this 18th anniversary, we as a nation take time to remember the ordinary citizens, the firefighters, the law enforcement officers, the paramedics, and the veterans who persevered and continue to fight for our country. Our unity in moving forward is a clear sign to the world that the United States is capable of adapting and overcoming even the greatest of tragedies. We will never forget all the brave men and women lost on September 11, 2001.