18 years earlier, September 11 made its mark on the minds of Americans as they faced a tragedy that would affect their country and people for years to come.
9/11. A date that can bring on a wave of emotions in every American who had to witness or hear about the devastation that shook the country on September 11, 2001. The World Trade Center may have been the one destroyed, but it was the lives of nearly 3,000 people who were trapped inside and their loved ones that took the greatest pain and loss.
And now 18 years later, people have found a way to honor all the survivors and more importantly, the ones who not only died in the destruction but also the ones who gave up their lives to let others escape the tragedy, including firefighters.
On Wednesday, the 9/11 Memorial and Museum will remember the lives lost with a ceremony paying tribute to those who lost their lives at the World Trade Center, Pentagon and aboard Flight 93 in 2001 as well as the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, according to CBS News. As has been done before, the names of all those killed will be read during the ceremony which will only be accessible to relatives of those killed in the September 11 attacks.
The museum is also encouraging those taking part in the ceremony to use the hashtag #Honor911 on social media. The center is also providing resources for anyone who wants to plan their own commemoration ceremony.
Six moments of silence are planned during the ceremony: two for the moment the planes struck each tower, two for the times each tower fell, one for the moment the Pentagon was hit and another for the moment United Flight 93 crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, reported the NY Post.
Also included in the ceremony is the new memorial that will line the outside of the World Trade Center. Six granite slabs were installed in the spring in the memorial plaza, erected to honor firefighters, police officers and others who died from exposure to toxins after the attacks.
In the evening, the public is invited to view the world-renowned public art piece Tribute in Light from the 9/11 Memorial. The lights will start at sunset and will slowly fade away as the day brings in September 12. For the public who want to pay their respects, the Memorial plaza will be open to from 3:00 p.m. to midnight, reported Journal of Emergency Medical Services.
"People say, 'Why do you stand here, year after year?'" Chundera Epps, sister of September 11 victim Christopher Epps, said at last year's ceremony at the World Trade Center, reported ABC7NY News. "Because soldiers are still dying for our freedom. First responders are still dying and being ill. We can't forget. Life won't let us forget," she added.
On Wednesday, every public school in New York state will observe a moment of silence to mark the anniversary, under a new bill signed into law. According to the news outlet, the aim of this is to educate the students today who were born after the tragedy on the mark this left on the country and the future generations. "I think it's important for our state to do and the feedback has been very positive," said New York State Sen. Joseph Addabbo Jr.
One family from San Diego even took their daughters to the memorial on Tuesday to teach them about 9/11. "We wanted our daughters to experience the memorial so they can understand what happened on 9/11 and the impact on our country for future generations," said Brian Suerth.
Additionally, more than 12,000 volunteers will come together in eight cities to combat hunger by packing three million meals for people facing hunger in the U.S. in an effort they call the The 9/11 Day of Service, Mercury News reported.
CBS New York will live stream the ceremony starting at around 8:25 a.m. ET from the 9/11 Memorial plaza in lower Manhattan. You will be able to watch the event on the official website or on the CBS News app.
Let's have a moment of silence and prayer for all those who were brutally taken from us on September 11, 2001. Rest in peace.