The events of September 11, 2001, left an indelible mark on the country, and indeed the world. Today, New York will commemorate the 11th anniversary of 9/11 with a series of ceremonies and memorial services. It will also celebrate the progress underway on the new World Trade Center towers, which serve as a reminder of America’s ability to overcome adversity. The most prominent tower, called WTC1, was photographed yesterday in all of its red-white-and-blue glory by Flickr user Gus NYC. When completed, WTC1 will be the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.
A U.S. judge has ruled AMR Corp’s American Airlines and United Continental Holdings, Inc. must face trial over claims of negligence relating to the September 11 attacks on New York’s World Trade Center in 2001.
Almost eleven years ago, 19 terrorists from the Islamist militant group al-Qaeda hijacked four passenger jets, including American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175, which were intentionally crashed into New York’s Twin Towers, American Airlines Flight 77, which was flown into the Pentagon and United Airlines Flight 93, which was meant to crash into the United States Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., but was unsuccessful. Almost 3,000 people were killed.
According to NBC News, in July 2001 World Trade Center Properties, LLC (WTCP) purchased 99-year leases to four World Trade Center buildings from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Inc. for $2.805 billion. In a lawsuit against United Airlines and American Airlines, WTCP is claiming, “the terrorists could not have boarded and hijacked the aircraft and flown them into the twin towers” if it hadn’t been for the airlines’ negligence, according to a New York court filing.
While WTCP wants $8.4 billion to cover damages, Judge Alvin Hellerstein has limited the amount to the $2.805 billion paid for the leases. In their defense, the airlines say they should not go to trial because WTCP has recovered $4.091 billion from insurance companies. However, Judge Hellerstein has said that at this time he cannot reasonably determine the insurance money covered the damages.
Everyone remembers what he or she was doing on September 11, 2001. From the moment American Airlines Flight 11 struck the North Tower of the World Trade Center (8:46 a.m. EDT) to the horrific realization that the United States was under attack, every person has a story to share, whether of what they were doing on that fateful day to memories of personal survival or tragic loss.
Ten years have passed since the terrorism attacks of September 11 changed the world forever. From the war in Afghanistan to airline regulations, we live with the legacy of 9/11 on a daily basis. But while 9/11 is at the forefront of our minds, many of us have lost sight of the thousands of lives that were lost on that fall day. A decade later, there are three memorials – at the World Trade Center site, the Pentagon, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania – where we can remember the dead, honor the survivors, and reflect on the events of September 11, 2001.National September 11 Memorial and Museum
New York City
Located at Ground Zero, where the two towers of the World Trade Center were destroyed and 2,753 lives lost, the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, known simply as the 9/11 Memorial, will be inaugurated in an official ceremony on September 11, 2011. The 9/11 Memorial will not open to the public until September 12, 2011, and its museum, to be located in a plaza underneath the memorial, is not scheduled to open until September 2012.
Like the Twin Towers, the 9/11 Memorial is huge in scale. Set on eight acres and filled-in with 415 trees, the memorial is comprised of two fountain cascades that are the exact size of the footprints of the two buildings. Lining the edges of the fountains is a bronze strip engraved with the names of the victims from the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and United Flight 93, as well as the names of the seven people who died in the World Trade Center bombing on February 26, 1993.
Admission to the 9/11 Memorial is free, but visitors must reserve a time to visit. You can request visitor passes here, but note that as of this writing, the first available time available is on September 14. There are also 9/11 family member visitor passes for those who are related to victims listed on the memorial.
Open since September 11, 2008, the Pentagon Memorial is a quiet reminder of the 184 men, women, and children who died when American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the southwest edge of the Pentagon. The memorial contains a series of benches, each etched with a name, laid out on the western side of the Pentagon Reservation. Benches pointing towards the Pentagon refer to those who were inside the Pentagon when the plane struck; benches pointing in the opposite direction represent the airline passengers and crew who perished. The Pentagon Memorial is free and open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Guided tours are not available.
Flight 93 National Memorial
Maintained by the National Park Service, this memorial to the victims of Flight 93 is located in the field where the hijacked plane crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, on September 11, 2001. The Flight 93 National Memorial has had several temporary memorials and is still under construction. But the official dedication ceremony of the first phase of construction for the permanent memorial will take place on September 11, 2011. Similar to the other two memorials, the Flight 93 memorial will contain a Memorial Wall of Names inscribed with the names of the 44 people who died. Admission to the Flight 93 National Memorial is free and the memorial will officially open to the public at 2 p.m. on September 12, 2011.
Image from Wikipedia
With the tenth anniversary of 9/11 approaching, President Obama has declared a National Day of Service and Remembrance to honor the men and women who lost their lives on that horrible day. As a result of this declaration, thousands of Americans are expected to take part in numerous service projects throughout the 50 States. One of those projects will be spearheaded by a group called Tourism Cares, who will be gathering volunteers for a revitalization effort in Valley Forge National Park.
Tourism Cares is a non-profit organization made up of members from the travel, tourism, and hospitality industry who are dedicated to preserving the travel experience for future generations. On Friday, September 9th, the group will host more than 200 volunteers who will be working throughout the 3600-acre Valley Forge to paint, clean, weed, and clear out a variety of spaces in the park. Their efforts will not only serve as a great opportunity to observe the National Day of Service and Remembrance a few days early, but also help preserve this important historical site for future visitors as well.
For more information on this Tourism Cares Volunteer Day, and to find out how you can get involved, click here. If you’re interested in discovering a service opportunity near you, you’ll find a list by clicking here.
As we mentioned yesterday, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum started handing out free passes on Monday in anticipation of their opening to the public on September 12. Everyone anticipated a huge response, and there certainly was one. In just the first few hours that tickets were available, 24,000 were been handed out. Figures for the whole day are not yet available.
The memorial in New York City will open for a private ceremony for the victims’ families this September 11, the tenth anniversary of the attacks.
While the 9/11 memorial is free, because of high demand and limited space within the grounds, tickets must be reserved in advance for a particular entry date and time. Once inside, visitors may stay as long as they like, so this could mean slow lines. You can reserve your tickets online.
[Photo courtesy National Park Service]