Sunday marks the 15th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001. The occasion has brought out a torrent of tributes, memorials, and remembrances.
It’s since been determined that 2996 people died in the attacks, and thousands more were injured, to say nothing of the often fatal health problems that have afflicted many first responders who helped sift through the rubble and toxic dust at Ground Zero. It was a day that looms large in American history—the single deadliest day in the United States since the Civil War—and the state of U.S. politics and foreign policy had never been the same.
Needless to say, many people on social media have been paying tribute to the victims of the attacks, as well as those first responders who bravely risked and, in some cases, sacrificed their lives in service. Whether using the hashtag #NeverForget, or simply tweeting about their personal memories and reflections on the fateful day, there are plenty of examples that call the attacks and the tragic loss of life to mind.In particular, many social media users have retold their stories of what they were doing when they learned of the attack on the World Trade Center. This is a shared point of cultural and national consciousness for countless Americans, not unlike past generations who remembered vividly what they were doing when news of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination broke.
The common thread, if there is one, is the banality of it all—that on a morning like any other and with thoughts of anti-American terrorism hardly on anyone’s mind, one of the most horrifying moments in U.S. history transpired.The city of New York will no doubt be remembering and mourning the attacks throughout the day, as will many people all across the United States. President Obama also offered some moving remarks on Sunday morning. Never to be forgotten, one of the four hijacked planes that day crashed into the Pentagon, while another was brought down by its heroic passengers in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, thwarting an attempt to fly it to the White House.