Today is September 11, Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance, established as a day to remember the 3,000 people who lost their lives during the 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States.
On the morning of September 11, 2001, four planes were hijacked in acts of terrorism. One plane was deliberately flown into the Pentagon in Washington DC, and two crashed into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. A fourth plane crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. These acts are by far the most destructive ever in loss of life and damage on U.S. soil.
Special memorial services are being held today at each of the three sites. A moment of silence is observed beginning at 8:46 am (Eastern Daylight time)--the exact moment when the first plane struck the North Tower of the World Trade Center. And at individual homes across the country, at the White House and at all United States government buildings here and abroad, the American flag is being flown at half-staff.
In 2012, President Barack Obama added National Day of Service and Remembrance to Patriot Day to encourage all Americans to volunteer in service opportunities as a way to honor and remember the September 11 victims.