Today marks 19 years since the 9/11 attacks committed against the United States by terrorist group al-Qaeda which resulted in the devastating loss of 2977 people’s lives.
The attacks involved the hijacking of four passenger airlines, which were then directed at prominent United States’ buildings; two of them directed at the World Trade Centre in New York, one directed at the Pentagon, and the final one allegedly heading to Washington D.C.
Flights 11 and 175 both crashed into the north and south buildings of the World Trade Centre, collapsing after an hour and 42 minutes after initial impact.
Flight 77 was flown into the Pentagon in Virginia and the final plane, Flight 93, crashed into a field in Pennsylvania after passengers overpowered the hijackers.
The 9/11 attacks have been remembered as one the deadliest acts of terrorism of the 21st century, and the largest attack on US soil.
In a statement released by the White House, President Donald Trump paid tribute, commenting: “The courage, heroism, and resilience Americans displayed on 9/11, and in its aftermath, are perpetual testaments to the spirit of our country”.
“As we reflect on the events of that September morning, let us recommit to embrace the stalwart bravery displayed and reaffirm our dedication to defending liberty from all who wish to deny it,” Trump said.
Due to the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions in the United States, the traditional 9/11 memorials this year will be split into two ceremonies. The 9/11 Memorial will reopen to families only on Friday and the rest of the public on Saturday after being closed for 6 months.
Anthoula Katsimatides, who is a part of the 9/11 memorial board commented to NBC that this year’s memorial will comply to social distancing, saying “it’s just been changed in a such a way where we still get to pay tribute to our loved ones in a respectful and safe way”.
It has been reported that both US President Donald Trump and Democratic Nominee Joe Biden will be attending a ceremony at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Pennsylvania.
The impact of 9/11 has been felt internationally as the events led to broader changes in United States foreign policy, and changed the way the world treats terrorism.
Most notably, the aftermath of 9/11 led to former President George Bush declaring the War on Terror, which involved US military involvement in 24 countries, primarily Iraq and Afghanistan.
In Australia, 9/11’s legacy has had a continual impact on our anti-terror laws. In the aftermath of 9/11, Australia has enacted 82 new anti-terror laws, which has been calculated as a new law every 6.7 weeks from 2002-2007.
The legacy of 9/11 is still being felt globally, and as it approaches two decades since the disaster, collective memory continues to remember the devastation caused.