On September 11, Patriot Day gives all of us time to reflect on the devastating terror attacks that took nearly 3,000 lives. We commemorate those who we lost and give thanks to the brave first responders who put their lives on the line. Take a moment today to consider what we stand for as a nation and how we can work together to make the world a better place for all.
History of Patriot Day
It was a terrifying day when four planes were hijacked on September 11, 2001 (also known as nine-eleven). The hijackers flew three planes into iconic buildings: the Pentagon in Washington DC and the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York. The fourth plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania after the plane passengers fought the hijackers. Nobody is certain where it was supposed to crash, but some people believe it was headed for the White House, the U.S. Capitol, the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland, or one of several nuclear power plants along the eastern seaboard.
The impact of this attack was devastating. Around 3,000 lives were lost between plane passengers, those in the buildings that were struck, and front-line workers trying to save people. It was the biggest act of terrorism ever in the United States. Since then, airplane security has become stricter in many countries as they attempt to avoid a future terrorist attack like nine-eleven.
The majority of lives that were people that worked in the Twin Towers, especially the floors above the collision point as people were trapped and stranded at the top of the burning skyscraper. 411 men and women working in emergency services lost their lives trying to fight fires and rescue people from the buildings. It was a heartbreaking attack, which is why Patriot Day was proclaimed by President George W. Bush and is recognized every year on September 11.
On Patriot Day, U.S. flags are lowered halfway, and there is a country-wide moment of silence at 8:46 am (Eastern Daylight Time), which is when the first plane crashed into one of the Twin Towers. Although the attacks were in the U.S., Patriot Day is recognized worldwide as the news devastated and impacted people all over.
Patriot Day timeline
- September 2016
President Obama declared a new day on September 11
With Patriot Day, he also announced September 11 as National Day of Service and Remembrance.
- September 2002
President Bush announced the first Patriot Day
This was on September 11, 2002.
- January 2002
President Bush announced a new doctrine for preemptive war
This basically said the U.S. would go to war to prevent any attack threatening the country.
- September 11, 2001
The terrorists attack
The nine-eleven terrorist attack sent shock-waves around the world, with thousands dying including many brave first responders who were trying to rescue people stranded in the towers.
Patriot Day FAQs
Is Patriot Day a national holiday?
Patriot Day is recognized worldwide, and many people participate in the moment of silence at 8:46 am Eastern Time, but it is not considered an official holiday in the U.S.
How many emergency workers were killed in nine-eleven?
There were 343 firefighters, 23 police officers, 37 Port Authority officers, 8 emergency medical techs and paramedics, and 1 patrolman that were killed during the attack.
How long did it take to clean up after 911?
There were 1.8 million tons of wreckage from the attack, which took a total of 9 months to clean up.
How to honor Patriot Day
Attend a Patriot Day ceremony
If you live close enough to an area where you can attend a ceremony, it’s one of the best ways to honor those impacted. You’ll partake in a moment of silence with everyone else and hear stories about people who lost their lives, families, emergency workers, and more.
Visit a memorial
If a ceremony isn’t for you, there are also a ton of memorials where you can silently and independently walk through to honor in your own, private way. Many show the real stories and names of people who were killed in the incident.
Participate in a moment of silence
Although the most recognized moment of silence is when the first plane crashed into the first tower at 8:46 am Eastern Daylight Time, there are a few other times where people take a moment of silence, such as when the other planes crashed and when the first tower fell. These times are at 9:03 am, 9:37 am, 9:59 am, 10:03 am, and 10:28 am.
5 Facts About Patriot's Day
The attack was orchestrated by Osama bin Laden
There were a total of 19 men that hijacked the planes.
The majority of the victims were men
It was around 75%-85% of victims that were male.
The economy was severely impacted
There were about 123 billion dollars in economic loss during the first 2-4 weeks after the incident.
The clean up was costly
It cost about $750 million to clean up the debris.
Nine-eleven was the second attack on the World Trade Center
There was a bombing that killed 6 people in 1993.
Why Patriot Day is Important
To recognize the lives lost
With nearly 3,000 lives lost during the attack, it’s important to take a moment and recognize those whose lives were cut short. Workers of all kinds were impacted, and so were their families. Honoring those who gave up their lives to save others and others who were impacted is important for families and friends.
To remember future safety for everyone
With an attack as deadly as nine-eleven, it’s important to remember how much security has advanced throughout the years. Remembering this attack will ensure people take necessary measures to keep people safe when traveling, going to work, or attending public events.
To listen and hear the stories of those impacted
As gruesome and upsetting as many of the stories around this event are, it’s important to give people who were impacted the chance to share their stories. By talking about personal events to other people, we can honor those involved and remind ourselves about the importance of safety.
Patriot Day dates