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September 11, 2001 20th Anniversary

To remember the events of that tragic day, to honor the innocent victims, to celebrate the heroism of first responders, and to highlight useful resources for acquiring a deeper understanding of 9/11 and its ongoing implications.

9/11 Memorials

Ground Zero, 9/11 Memorial, New York City

Photo by 9/11 Memorial and Museum - Made available under the Creative Commons CCO 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.

National September 11 Memorial

The National September 11 Memorial, located in New York City, commemorates the September 11, 2001 attacks, which killed 2,977 people, and the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, which killed six. The outdoor Memorial is located at the World Trade Center site, the former location of the Twin Towers that were destroyed during the September 11 attacks. Where the Twin Towers once stood are two almost 1-acre sized reflecting pools and the largest manmade waterfalls in North America.

The names of the victims are inscribed on 152 bronze parapets on the memorial pools and arranged according to an algorithm, creating "meaningful adjacencies" based on relationships—proximity at the time of the attacks, company or organization affiliations (for those working at the World Trade Center or the Pentagon) and in response to about 1,200 requests from family members.

The 9/11 Memorial is operated by the National 9/11 Memorial and Museum, a non-profit institution whose mission is to raise funds for, program, and operate the memorial and museum at the World Trade Center site.

Pentagon Memorial - photo by U.S. Navy Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brien Aho

Photo by U.S Navy Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brien Aho. Made available under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

Pentagon Memorial

The Pentagon Memorial, located just southwest of The Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia, is a beautiful open space shaded by 85 crape myrtle trees. The memorial contains 184 benches surrounded by a lit water pool, each engraved with the name of a deceased service member or civilian and arranged according to the victim's age, from the youngest (3-year-old Dana Falkenberg) to the oldest (71-year-old John Yamnicky Sr.). These benches honor all those who died at the Pentagon during the attack, including passengers on American Airlines Flight 77.

The benches representing the victims that were inside the Pentagon are arranged so those reading the names will face the Pentagon's south facade, where the plane hit; benches dedicated to victims aboard the plane are arranged so that those reading the engraved name will be facing skyward along the path the plane traveled. The open-air memorial is free and open 24 hours a day.

Flight 93 National Memorial

Flight 93 National Memorial

The Flight 93 National Memorial commemorates the crash of United Airlines Flight 93, which was one of four aircraft hijacked in the September 11 attacks. This memorial is located in Stonycreek Township, Somerset County, Pennsylvania, about 2 miles (3.2 km) north of Shanksville and 60 miles (97 km) southeast of Pittsburgh.

Places to visit at the memorial:

  • Memorial Plaza extends one quarter mile alongside the area where Flight 93 crashed on September 11, 2001.
    • Plaza Walkway allows visitors to walk beside the hallowed landscape that is the final resting place of the passengers and crew members of flight 93
    • Wall of Names - located underneath the flight path and final approach, forty individually selected and polished white marble stones are inscribed with each of the passenger or crew member names. Black granite denotes the flight path. The black granite walkway ends at the Ceremonial Gate, constructed of hemlock and beyond which only National Park Service officials or family members of passengers and crew of Flight 93 are permitted.
    • Hemlock Grove and Impact Site - From the Ceremonial Gate visitors can view the impact site and a grove of eastern hemlock trees that were damaged as a result of the Flight 93 crash. A visible gap in the tree line serves as a lasting "scar" from where over 80 damaged trees were removed. Near the base of the hemlock grove sits a native 17.5 ton sandstone boulder, placed in 2011 to indicate the edge of the impact site.
  • Tower of Voices - a monumental, ninety-three foot tall musical instrument featuring forty wind chimes; each with its own distinctive sound, one for each passenger and crew member who died in the crash. Dedicated on September 9, 2018, the tower forms the gateway to the National Memorial and is visible from U.S. Route 30.

The National Park Service maintains this memorial and its grounds year-round. There is no entrance fee.

Online Resources