Two decades later, the whole world is still mourning over the deadly 9/11 attacks that killed 2,996 people in America. Those who were old enough to remember have never forgetten where they were that horrific day.
On the morning of September 11, 2001, a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks were carried out against the United States by the militant Islamist terrorist organizion al-Qaeda.
Facebook user Mark Denzler shared photos that he took on top of the World Trade Center during a trip to NYC a year before it collapsed. He continued to share the chilling events that took place that fateful day.
He recalled: "That morning, I remember watching in horror as the events unfolded on television. I spoke to my dad who was in tears as we tried to reach my brother who worked in a neighboring tower to the World Trade Center. It wasn’t until late afternoon that we found out he made it out safely but 2,977 women and men did not."
Author and CNN anchor Christi Paul says she "still [cries]" and "still [gets] angry" when she remembers the terrorist attack. "I’m still utterly awed that anyone could do to another human what was done that day," she shared on her Facebook account.
Continuing her tribute, Paul shared one striking moment that happened that day at the park in Ohio.
"We were laying on the grass & looking up at the stars. Pete & I thought we saw a plane until we realized…that twinkling light wasn’t moving. There were no planes in the sky. Not anywhere over the U.S. Not. One. At that moment, the birds & the stars were the only things taking up the dark space overhead," she said.
Rachel Fast Billups was on her way to class in Decker Hall at Anderson University when she found out about the news. "All I could think to myself was, 'The world will never be the same,'" she wrote in her tribute.
Up to today, Billups is still angry for the families of those who were affected and the first responders who sacrificed their lives just to save people.
"There’s a deep grief in me as I reflect over the 20 years of war on terror ignited by 9/11. There have been many brave servicemen and servicewomen, some of whom didn’t make it home alive. Others were deeply wounded physically or emotionally, forever carrying the scars of battle. Then there were the people, the regions, the countries left with the residue of 20 years of war," she wrote.
What started out as a "beautiful sunny day in New York" turned out to be a nightmare for Elizabeth Ferrero and many others. She has just gotten out of the subway in Manhattan when she saw a swarm of people "eerily looking up" because a plane has crashed into the building of the World Trade Center.
Moments later, a second plane hit the other tower, instantly bringing others into panic.
The days after were horrific, too, she says. "The most heart wrenching memory of this tragedy were the blocks and blocks of photos that the families had set up in search of missing loved ones. This was across from my office building.It simply brought you to your knees," Ferrero added.
KCRA-TV news anchor Deirdre Fitzpatrick was "in the anchor chair" when the planes hit the north tower. It was chaotic in the newsroom as it was outside—no one really knew what was happening, and the skycams were very blurry. But when the second plane striked the south tower, they knew it was "no accident."
"I remember NBC reporters coming on set, covered in ash.. Ashley Banfield I think. Jim Miklaszewski was live at the Pentagon, saying he felt a massive boom.. we quickly learned that was Flight 77," she recollected.
20 years later, people in the USA still lives with the lasting impacts of 9/11—and a lot of them have never forgotten the unfathomable losses endured.
"From Never Forget, to Always Remember. A time of great grief met by tremendous unity that shaped so many of us, in whatever chair we found ourselves that day," said Fitzpatrick.
Despite everything that is happening in the world, Paul believes that humanity still exists. "Let’s leave people in awe now…at how good & kind & compassionate we can be to each other. Let’s remind each other what being human is really about," she wrote.
Billups hopes that mankind would be "tangible demonstrations of love."
"Loving our neighbors regardless; praying for our servicemen, servicewomen and first responders; showing signs of gratitude for those who have sacrificed a father, mother, son or daughter; and remembering that we must do what we can do to drive out the hate in our world," she said.
She continued: "In the moments this weekend when darkness and hate creep into our heads and hearts, let us be reminded that light and love are the real solutions to the world’s growing problems. Love regardless."