Reflections on the 22nd Anniversary of the 9/11 Attacks

Today marks 22 years since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.


Today marks 22 years since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The attacks killed 2,997 people, including 343 firefighters, 72 law enforcement officers, 55 military personnel, and hundreds of Americans who woke up that morning planning to go to work or board an airplane.

  • On that bright Tuesday morning 22 years ago, 19 Al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked four commercial jetliners. The hijackers crashed two planes into the Twin Towers in New York City and another plane into the Pentagon in Virginia.
  • A fourth airplane, believed to be targeting the White House or the Capitol, crashed into a field in Western Pennsylvania after the passengers revolted against their captors.
  • Americans gathered at memorials, firehouses, civic centers, and other community sites to observe the anniversary of the deadliest terrorist attack in American history. Congress has designated Sept. 11 as Patriot Day and a National Day of Service and Remembrance.
  • President Joe Biden will observe the anniversary in Alaska and plans to speak to 1,000 first responders and their families at a military base. Biden is the first US president to not mark the anniversary at one of the memorial sites or at the White House.
  • Vice President Kamala Harris attended the 9/11 memorial service at Ground Zero in New York City. The ceremony is held at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, located on the ground where the World Trade Center once stood.
  • First Lady Jill Biden laid a wreath at the remembrance ceremony at the Pentagon Memorial, and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will conduct an Observance Ceremony at the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial.
  • Doug Emhoff, the Second Gentleman, attended a memorial ceremony at the Flight 93 National Memorial near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, the site where Flight 93 crashed after the passengers tried to storm the cockpit and stop the hijackers.
  • Reuters published a collection of “defining images from the 9/11 attacks.” The photographs of the devastation in New York, Virginia and Pennsylvania are a chilling reminder of the horror of that day and of the brave efforts by first responders to help those in need.


reporting from the left side of the aisle


  • Beyond the multicolored shops, red brick streets packed with performers and quays filled with sailboats that draw visitors to the town of Kinsale, County Cork, is a memorial to a tragedy that occurred an ocean away. On a hilltop overlooking the fishing village on Ireland’s southwest coast stands a grove of 343 trees — one for each firefighter who died in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001. (New York Times)
  • “As it turns out, my childhood fears following 9/11 were valid but misplaced. It was not a plane crash or burning building that threatened my family’s safety, but a silent killer — the environmental toxins released during and after the World Trade Center attacks. According to the World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program, a federal program that provides monitoring and treatment for certified WTC-related health conditions, more than 71,000 people have been diagnosed with physical and mental health conditions as a result of exposure to the dust, smoke, debris and trauma of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Two of those 71,000-plus people are my moms.” (Washington Post)
  • “It was a raw, searing day for Americans who watched the Twin Towers collapse, the Pentagon burn and a plane meant for the U.S. Capitol slam into a Pennsylvania field. More than 3,000 people died. But the terrorist attacks are now fading into history, now that American troops are no longer at war. All these new recruits were born several years after the 9/11 attacks. Even their instructors have vague memories of that morning. One of the drill sergeants outside was in kindergarten when 9/11 happened.” (National Public Radio)



  • “But as the September 11 attacks and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq recede into the history books, the generation forged by them will be stepping forward to their place among the leaders who will steer us through the next generation of foreign and national-security crises. Let us hope they have learned the right lessons.” (National Review)
  • “Twenty-two years now: For all that the anniversary can bring so many of us back to that bright September morning like it was yesterday, ever-more Americans have no memory of 9/11 at all. Today’s college graduates were born after the planes hit the Towers, the Pentagon and that Pennsylvania field. Most barely even recall the Iraq War, for all that it lingered on for years. What was once a universal experience — everyone could talk about where they were that day and how it changed their lives — is becoming history. ‘Never forget’ takes on a whole new meaning.” (New York Post)
  • “I wonder if we will ever learn the lessons of the past and apply them to the future in the form of wisdom. But — I also reflect on the flags raised in the wake of 9/11. I remember the firefighters, police officers, paramedics and first responders who ran into burning buildings that fateful day 22 years ago this morning. I recall the hundreds of thousands of Americans who lined up to give blood. I am reminded of the Red Cross personnel who manned shelters and served meals to rescue and recovery workers alongside volunteers combing through the rubble at Ground Zero. And I am touched at the memory of families who gathered in communities across the nation in candlelight vigils. Today, I remember those who stood up in the aftermath of the attack to answer the call.” (Fox News)


Return to Freespoke

© Dominic Moore, 2023