This week, people across the U.S. are doing service projects, attending ceremonies, running races, and observing moments of silence to mark the 12th anniversary of 9/11. The term “9/11” is used to refer to the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.
On that day, terrorists used force to take control of four airplanes. They flew two of the planes into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center—then the tallest buildings in New York City—and destroyed the famous landmarks. They crashed another plane into the Pentagon, the U.S. military headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. The fourth plane crashed in a Shanksville, Pennsylvania, field after passengers fought back against the terrorists.
A total of 2,977 people died on 9/11. It was the worst enemy attack ever to take place in the U.S.
A DAY OF SERVICE
In the years since the attacks, September 11 has become a day of service in the U.S. Millions of people give back to their communities to honor the heroes and victims of 9/11 as well as those who have fought and died in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They also remember how Americans cared for and supported each other after the attacks.
Service projects and events take place throughout the week as well. More than 30,000 runners in 53 U.S. and foreign cities are set to run in a series of 5K races called the 9/11 Heroes Run. On September 7, hundreds of motorcyclists took part in a Patriot Day Ride in Baltimore, Maryland.
Even kids are doing their part. Fifth-graders at Centennial Arts Academy in Gainesville, Georgia, are writing letters to and filling care packages for soldiers. Students at Byram Lakes Elementary School and Byram Intermediate School in Stanhope, New Jersey, are holding a canned-pet-food drive for a local animal rescue center. And, thanks to the idea of two 15-year-old students, Providence Community School in Bradenton, Florida, is creating a memorial on campus that will include 2,977 flags to represent the persons killed on 9/11.
Even when the day of service is over, Americans will remember 9/11. Two years ago, on the 10th anniversary of the attacks, a memorial opened where the Twin Towers once stood. The 9/11 Memorial Museum is set to open at the site next spring. And countless other memorials have sprung up in cities across the U.S.
But the best way to remember 9/11, President Barack Obama says, is through our actions.
“There are many ways to bring service into our everyday lives—and each of us can do something,” the President said in a speech last year. “Even the simplest act of kindness can be a way to honor those we have lost, and to help build stronger communities and a more resilient nation.”