14 years ago, America and the world were changed forever.
Terrorists hijacked four passenger planes and rammed two into New York City’s World Trade Center. The North Tower was the first to be hit and the South Tower was the second to be hit but the first to collapse.
A third passenger plane crashed into the Pentagon outside Washington, and a fourth jetliner crash-landed on an empty field in Pennsylvania.
People, buildings, and planes fell from the sky. By the end of the terrible and unforgettable day, 2,977 people had been killed in the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil.
Today, a resilient nation looks forward to the future while remembering the past.
At 9:03 a.m. eastern time, United Airlines Flight 175 crashed into the World Trade Center’s south tower, as seen in a still from a video taken from the ground on September 11, 2001. By hijacking four planes, terrorists made a deadly attack. (Image source: Still from video by Evan Fairbanks, Magnum Photos)
United Airlines Flight 175 flies low toward the South Tower of the World Trade Center, shortly before slamming into the structure. The north tower burns after an earlier attack by a hijacked airliner in New York City, on September 11, 2001. (Image source: Reuters / Sean Adair)
Flames erupt from the South Tower of the World Trade Center, after it was struck by hijacked United Airlines Flight 175, in New York City, on September 11, 2001. The aircraft crashed into the tower traveling at a speed of approximately 586 miles per hour. (Image source: Reuters / Sean Adair)
The World Trade Center’s south tower collapsed at 9:59 a.m. ET on 9/11, bringing the disaster that had been unfolding far above the street crashing down to engulf those below. (Image source: Thomas Nilsson / Getty Images)
Smoke and flames billow as United Airlines Flight 175 crashes into the World Trade Center’s south tower on 9/11, killing everyone aboard and hundreds more inside the building. (Image source: Spencer Platt, Getty Images)
Two women hold each other as they watch the World Trade Center burn following a terrorist attack on the twin skyscrapers in New York City on September 11, 2001. (Image source: AP / Ernesto Mora)
People on the World Trade Center’s north tower hanging out of the windows
Fleeing the Fire Driven to the brink by fires and scorching temperatures during the attacks, people near the top of the World Trade Center’s north tower hang from windows as high as 1,300 feet (400 meters) above the streets of New York. (Image source: Jose Jimenez, Primera Hora/Getty Images)
While most able-bodied occupants of the north tower fled down stairwells to safety, firefighters such as Mike Kehoe (pictured) headed up to help the wounded. (Image source: John Labriola)
Todd Heaney and Frankie DiLeo of Engine 209 help a fellow firefighter who was injured at the World Trade Center during 9/11. (Image source: Todd Maisel / NY Daily News via Getty Images)
A video still shows American Airlines Flight 77 slamming into the western side of the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, at 9:37 a.m. ET on 9/11, claiming the lives of 59 persons on board and 125 on the ground. (Image source: Still from video by CNN via Getty Images)
Firefighters battle a spreading blaze at the Pentagon. (Image source: Jim Varhegyi / U.S. Air Force via Getty Images)
People evacuate New York City’s Financial District on 9/11 as both World Trade Center towers burn. (Image source: Spencer Platt / Getty Images)
The twin towers burn behind one of New York City’s iconic landmarks, the Empire State Building, on 9/11. (Image source: Marty Lederhandler / AP)
This famous photograph, known as “Falling Man,” captures the plunge of an unknown victim of 9/11 from the north tower—one of many who jumped or fell to their deaths from the upper floors of the World Trade Center. (Image source: Richard Drew / AP)
A man leaps to his death from a fire and smoke filled North Tower of the World Trade Center, on September 11, 2001 in New York City after terrorists crashed two hijacked passenger planes into the twin towers. (Image source: Jose Jimenez / Primera Hora/Getty Images)
People run through the New York streets as the World Trade Center collapses behind them, blotting out blue skies and filling the air with enormous clouds of debris and ash. (Image source: Suzanne Plunkett / AP)
This inbound view of the Brooklyn Bridge shows a mass exodus as people walk out of a smoky and chaotic Manhattan. (Image source: Daniel Shanken / AP)
Marcy Borders is enveloped in ash after she escaped the World Trade Center’s south tower to take shelter in the lobby of a nearby office building. She passed away in 2015 after battling addiction and then cancer. (Image source: Stan Honda / AFP / Getty Images)
A lone person stands on a New York City street, seen after the twin towers’ collapse on 9/11. (Image source: Jason Florio / Corbis)
President George W. Bush comforts New York City firefighter Lenard Phelan during a September 14 visit to ground zero. Phelan’s brother Kenneth, also a firefighter, was among hundreds of New York firefighters missing in the wake of the attacks. (Image source: FDNY via AP)
People on a New York City street scan pictures of the many police and fire personnel still missing in the wake of the attacks as of September 28, 2001. (Image source: Mario Tama / Getty Images)
The eight-acre 9/11 Memorial Park opened on the tenth anniversary of the attacks. It includes two pools set in the footprints of the original Twin Towers and the names of the 2,983 victims. (Image source: Robert Wallis / Getty Images)
Seen in May 2014, the new One World Trade Center rises above New York City, just steps from Ground Zero. (Image source: Spencer Platt / Getty Images)
H/T National Geographic