We are nearing the 20th anniversary of September 11, the day that brought nearly 3,000 deaths in consecutive terrorist attacks on the New York City World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and United Flight 93, the plane that crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
You likely remember the moment you heard the news. Something was wrong. A plane crashed into one of the Twin Towers – then another, with more horrific events to come.
September 11 shook our nation to its core. It tested our strength and hope and tainted our sense of safety and certainty.
And yet, when tragedy arrived on our shores, with more force and darkness than we could have imagined, we saw something else take shape. Bravery, sacrifice, kindness, and love became the hands that held us up when it felt like we were too weak to stand. First responders, healthcare workers, neighbors, and loved ones came together to create a more united nation – a new story – not only marked by profound loss but by resilience and the ability to overcome together.
Two decades later, we honor the lives lost. We validate survivors who are still living with trauma and pain from their experience during the 9/11 attack, and we stand with Muslim Americans who are still fighting bias and hatred 20 years later.
To those who stood on the front lines, who ran toward the wreckage so others could run out, we say “thank you.” We will never forget their sacrifice. As we face a new and devastating crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic, we remember that their courage and ability to come together unified our nation in a time of great need. Today, in their honor, we envision a country that has once again joined together to overcome.