On Sept. 11, 2001, four coordinated terrorist attacks by al-Qaeda against the United States, using hijacked commercial airliners as missiles took the lives of 2,996 people in New York City, Washington, D.C., and in the fields of Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
The two towers of the World Trade Center in New York City were hit by two separate airliners, hijacked after they took off from Boston. The towers fell within hours. Another commercial airliner, which took off from Washington Dulles International Airport in Dulles, Virginia, was hijacked and flown into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. A fourth airliner, hijacked after it took off from Newark, New Jersey, was bound for the nation’s capitol but crashed into a rural field in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, after passengers tried to regain control of the aircraft from its hijackers.
The attacks killed 2,996 people, injured over 6,000 others, and caused at least $10 billion in infrastructure and property damage. Additional people, chief among them first responders in New York City, died of 9/11-related cancer and respiratory diseases in the months and years following the attacks.
The attacks launched an American military response that has had the U.S. and coalition partner nations at war in Afghanistan (where the 9/11 attack was planned and coordinated) and Iran since Oct. 7, 2001.
As a consequence of the attacks, the U.S. has been in a state of national emergency since 2001.
According to the Department of Defense, 4,419 U.S. military personnel died during the Iraq war between September 2001 and August 2019. In Afghanistan, where U.S. and coalition troops are still engaged in battle, 2,219 U.S. military men and women have given their lives in a theater of war that has been the longest war the U.S. has ever been involved with.
At locations across the country, today, 9/11, observances of the attack on the United States in 2001 will take place. Some will mark the exact moments the airliners were driven into buildings in New York City and Washington, D.C., and the field in Somerset County.
In Williams County, an observance of the attack and memorial to the victims and those who paid the ultimate price in the Global War on Terror will be held today at the Williams County Fair. The ceremony is scheduled at 7 p.m. and will be held at the free stage area of the Williams County Fairgrounds.