The September 11, 2001 attacks consisted of a series of coordinated suicide terrorist attacks upon the United States, predominantly targeting civilians, carried out on Tuesday, September 11, 2001.
That morning, 19 men affiliated with al-Qaeda hijacked four commercial passenger jet airliners. Each team of hijackers included a trained pilot. Two planes (United Airlines Flight 175 and American Airlines Flight 11) crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City, one plane into each tower (One and Two). Both towers collapsed within two hours. The pilot of the third team crashed a plane into the Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia. Passengers and members of the flight crew on the fourth aircraft attempted to retake control of their plane from the hijackers; that plane crashed into a field near the town of Shanksville in rural Somerset County, Pennsylvania. Excluding the 19 hijackers, a confirmed 2,973 people died and another 24 remain missing as a result of these attacks.
The tragic events of September 11, 2001 have had a profound effect upon our nation and its people. We recall and relive the anger, grief, and sadness the appalling terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon produced in us. This day of infamy will remain in our collective memory for a very long time.
We mourn those who died so tragically in the stunning assault upon our fellow citizens and upon our government. They were murdered as they went about their business in the workplace, not as combatants in a war, or as soldiers on the field of battle.
We honor those who gave their lives sacrificially in service to the injured and wounded. The courageous men who rushed into the jaws of danger to help those, who without assistance, would surely have perished, deserve our honor and our admiration.
We celebrate the bravery and unselfish service of the men and women of the fire and police departments and other service organizations who made such a difference on that terrible day and the weeks and months following.
People from all over the nation poured themselves out in service to the injured and broken people who were the direct victims of these attacks. We knew that though we could not reverse the horrid events, we could relieve the pain and suffering of those most directly affected.
This is the thirteenth anniversary of that terrible day, it is appropriate that we commemorate this time with thoughtful reflection and renewed dedication to God. We have a deep and profound need to call upon God. In the days immediately following the cowardly attack, millions gave evidence of returning to God. Churches were filled, many people spoke openly of their faith, and an observable upsurge of courtesy and consideration was seen in the ordinary passages of our daily lives.
In the days since, however, there has been a return to the ordinary, and many of our fellow citizens who seemed to have taken spiritual lessons from that dreadful classroom appear to have sunk back into spiritual indifference. The Scripture says in II Chronicles 7:14: “If My people, who are called by My name, humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” I believe God is prepared to do in our time just as he promised in the ancient time that promise was made. This is a perfect time for authentic renewal. Let us lead the way for our national kinsmen, sincerely repenting and humbly walking with God.
We urge each of you to recommit yourselves to the Lord, and to pray diligently and sincerely for our President and his cabinet, and for the military men and women who are put into harm’s way for the sake of our beloved nation.