On September 11, 2001, two planes hit the World Trade Center in New York City and one plane crashed into the Pentagon. There was a fourth plane, Flight 93 that was supposed to go toward Washington D.C. but ultimately crashed in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania thanks to passengers who fought the terrorists. The day is now known as 9/11 and Patriot Day. It was only the second time the U.S. was attacked on its own soil, the first being Pearl Harbor.
The day holds a heavy meaning for Americans everywhere. The terrorist attack killed over 2,600 at the World Trade Center, 125 people at the Pentagon and 40 people on Flight 93. A total of 2,977 people died. It’s known as the deadliest terrorist attack in the world.
Since the attacks, a memorial has been placed at the base of where the two buildings used to stand. The 9/11 Memorial and Museum, turned the bases of the buildings into reflection pools. Engraved around the border of the pools is every name of everyone who died in the attack.
If you’re struggling to adequately express how you feel when the anniversary of 9/11 rolls around, don’t worry. Below are 15 inspiring quotes about the tragedy.
“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.” – President Barack Obama
“If we learn nothing else from this tragedy, we learn that life is short and there is no time for hate.” – Sandy Dahl, wife of Jason Dahl, the pilot of Flight 93
“The attacks of September 11th were intended to break our spirit. Instead, we have merged stronger and more unified. We feel renewed devotion to the principles of political, economic and religious freedom, the rule of law and respect for human life. We are more determined than ever to live our lives in freedom.” – Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani
“For me and my family personally, September 11 was a reminder that life is fleeting, impermanent and uncertain. Therefore, we must make use of every moment and nurture it with affection, tenderness, beauty, creativity and laughter.” – Deepak Chopra
“Time is passing. Yet, for the United States of America, There will be no forgetting September the 11th. We will remember every rescuer who died in honor. We will remember every family that lives in grief. We will remember the fire and ash, the last phone calls, the funerals of the children.” – President George W. Bush
“With almost no time to decide, [your loved ones] gave the entire country an incalculable gift. They saved the Capitol from attack. They saved God knows how many lives. They saved the terrorists from claiming the symbolic victory of smashed the center of American government. …They allowed us to survive as a country that could fight terror and still maintain liberty and still welcome people from all over the world from every religion and race and culture as long as they shared our values, because ordinary people given no time at all to decide did the right thing.” – President Bill Clinton, about Flight 93
“Remember the hours after September 11th when we came together as one to answer the attack against our homeland. We drew strength when our firefights ran upstairs and risked their lives so that others might live; when rescuers rushed into smoke and dire at the Pentagon; when the men and women of Flight 93 sacrificed themselves to save our nation’s Capitol; when flags were hanging from front porches all across America, and strangers became friends. It was the worst day we have ever seen, but it brought out the best in all of us.” – Senator John Kerry
“One of the worst days in America’s history saw some of the bravest acts in Americans’ history. We’ll always honor the heroes of 9/11. And here at this hallowed place, we pledge that we will never forget their sacrifice.” – President George W. Bush
“Ten years have passed since the perfect blue sky morning turned into the blackest of nights. Since then we’ve lived in sunshine and in shadow, and although we can never unsee what happened here, we can also see that children who lost their parents have grown into young adults, grandchildren have been born and good works and public service have taken root to honor those we loved and lost.” – Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg
“September 11, 2001, revealed heroism in ordinary people who might have gone through their lives never called upon to demonstrate the extent of their courage.” – Geraldine Brooks
“Five years from the date of the attack that changed our world, we’ve come back to remember the valor of those we lose–those who innocently went to work that day and the brave souls who went in after them. We have also come to be ever mindful of the courage of those who grieve for them, and the light that still lives in their hearts.” – Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani
“September 11, 2001, seems destined to be the watershed event of our lives and the greatest test for our democracy in our lifetimes.” – Lt. Col. Shelton F. Leskford, U.S. Marine Corps
“We will always remember everyone we lost on 9/11, thank the first responders who keep us safe, and honor all who defend our country and the ideals that bind us together. There’s nothing our resilience and resolve can’t overcome, and no act of terror can ever change who we are.” – President Barack Obama