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A Day of Remembering

Columns of light pierce the night sky over New York City. BILGIN SASMAZ—ANADOLU AGENCY/GETTY IMAGES

The attacks that happened on September 11, 2001, have been called the worst in United States history. This year is the 20th anniversary of that terrible day. The nation will honor the nearly 3,000 people who lost their lives.

The attacks were carried out by a group that wanted to harm the U.S. Its members took control of four airplanes. They flew two planes into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. Another plane crashed into the Pentagon military headquarters, in Washington, D.C. The fourth plane crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

IN MEMORY A woman honors her husband’s memory with flowers at the 9/11 Pentagon Memorial, in Arlington, Virginia.


Lasting Effects

“Those events shaped so much of our world today,” Noah Rauch told TIME for Kids. Rauch works at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum. That’s in New York City.

After the attacks, the U.S. invaded Afghanistan. That’s where the group that carried them out was based. This led to what’s often called the longest war in U.S. history.

Security in public places has become more common since 2001. There were no full-body scanners at airports before then. Now people go through complicated security checks at airports, museums, and concerts.

Islamophobia has also increased. That is a fear of Muslim people, who practice the religion of Islam. It comes from a wrongful association of all Muslims with the 9/11 attacks. Muslims in the U.S. sometimes face discrimination discrimination ARIEL SKELLEY—GETTY IMAGES unfairly treating one group of people differently from another group (noun) When a company hires new employees, discrimination is illegal. based on their religion.

PAYING RESPECTS A man pauses at the Flight 93 National Memorial, near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.


Never Forget

On September 11, 2021, a ceremony will take place at each 9/11 site. The night before, lanterns will be lit near Shanksville. This will honor the 40 passengers and crew who died there. At the Pentagon, in Washington, D.C., 184 benches have been built. That’s one for each victim of the attacks. And in New York City, the names of 2,983 victims will be read aloud. Two columns of light will beam into the sky.