Remembering 9-11 and why you should visit these landmarks
USA Travel

There will never be a day that 9-11 doesn’t ring through the ears of those who were alive in 2001. It is a landmark, hallmark event in our history.

Sentinel events in our lives stand through time. We can tell the stories of exactly what we were doing, what we where eating, the smells that surrounded us. We can tell you everything about that day. Whether it was Pearl Harbor, the first man on the moon, the space shuttle disaster, the day Martin Luther King was killed, and of course, 9-11.

Today marks the 20th anniversary of the attacks and with each passing year we grow further apart in our unification that we all shared as Americans. Time may not allow us to forget the events but it surely allows us to forget how it drove us together.

This is not a political article by any means nor is it intended to be. This is about remembering the events and honoring the lives of those that were lost and those that sacrificed as well as those who survived. In doing so, there are three places that you should visit at least once in your life.

A stop at the Pentagon memorial. November 3, 2018. Photo by Mike De Sisti / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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The Pentagon

The memorial is designed to show the path of flight 77 that ended with a hit on the government building. The benches are arranged with the names of each victim of the attack and are laid out by age, from three years old to 71. The benches are directional with the names of each person engraved in a way to show where they lost their lives. Those facing the Pentagon are those who lost their lives on the ground. The others face away from the building in the direction of the planes path and represent each of the passengers who perished.

The area is surreal as are the others. On a recent visit to Washington, D.C. prior to the outbreak of COVID, the area was under construction and not open to visitors. Still, it remains an important landmark in our history and should be a top destination for anyone visiting the Washington, D.C. monuments.

Sep 11, 2021; Shanksville, PA, USA; People ready for the 20th annual September 11 observance at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, PA. Mandatory Credit: Jack Gruber-USA TODAY

Flight 93 Memorial

In the middle of what was a field, the Flight 93 National Memorial is one of the most visited memorials in the world. The quiet memorial is quaint, yet powerful. Located near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, the memorial honors the passengers and crew who were able to overtake the plane and prevent what may have been a major attack but in the process, sacrificing their own lives.

The Wall of Names memorializes the passengers and crew and lies along the flight path in the direction of the final impact. A 93 foot tower, Tower of Voices, holds 40 wind chimes to represent each of those who lost their lives.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 11: (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

New York City

It is hard to visit New York without going to the Twin Tower memorial and plaza. A museum on the location could fill your day with facts and moments from the event. Around the corner you can see the firehouse of the first unit that responded. Each year, the names of the thousands of people who lost their lives are read aloud, a bell tolls, at night the illumination of lights ascend into the heavens representing the two towers.

In the center of it all, two reverse fountains descend into the earth both the size of each towers base. This is a can’t miss place in the heart of New York City and a reminder of the fragile life we all live.

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