“May the lives remembered, the deeds recognized, and the spirit reawakened be eternal beacons, which reaffirm respect for life, strengthen our resolve to preserve freedom, and inspire an end to hatred, ignorance and intolerance.”
These words are the final part of the mission statement of the National September 11
Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center in New York City. As the nation and
world mark the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Diversity News Magazine and Diversity News Publications shares the sentiments of the 9/11 Memorial and calls upon readers to make Sept. 11, 2013 a day of commemoration.
Take a moment on this day to remember and honor the thousands of innocent men,
women, and children murdered by terrorists in the horrific attacks of February 26,
1993 and September 11, 2001. Thank your local first responders for their dedication to
protecting your community. Remember the many Americans who have served and
are currently serving in our nation’s military—many of whom enlisted as a response to
the 9/11 attacks.
Let us come together this 9/11 and take a day to honor, remember and reunite. For
more information from the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, visit
The World Trade Center History
The Twin Towers were the centerpieces of the World Trade Center complex. At 110 stories each, 1 WTC (North Tower) and 2 WTC (South Tower) provided nearly 10-million-square feet of office space for about 35,000 people and 430 companies. They were the tallest buildings in New York City, and for a brief period upon their completion, they were the tallest buildings in the world. They attracted roughly 70,000 tourists and commuters every day.
The North Tower rose 1,368 feet – 1,730 feet with a large antenna – and the South Tower stood 1,362-feet high. On a clear day, views extended 45 miles from the top of the towers in every direction – far enough to see all five New York City boroughs, New Jersey and Connecticut.
The towers were massive. Each weighed more than 250,000 tons, contained 99 elevators and had 21,800 windows. Each floor was an acre in size and there was enough concrete in the towers to build a sidewalk from New York City to Washington, D.C. The complex even had its own zip code: 10048.
The two towers were surrounded by five other buildings that comprised the WTC complex. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey had a police desk in 5 WTC, while 3 WTC was a hotel and office buildings.
The Twin Towers were completed in 1973, though tenants began to arrive in December 1970. The other buildings were built over the next 14 years.
In February 1993, terrorists with links to an Islamist extremist group detonated explosives in a van parked underneath the WTC. Six people were killed and thousands were injured. For more information visit http://www.911memorial.org/world-trade-center-history
Rescue & Recovery
At the three attack sites, days and weeks – and months as was the case with New York City – were spent extinguishing fires, searching for survivors and, ultimately, searching for remains of the victims. It took nine months to remove approximately 1.8 million tons from the WTC site.
In the aftermath of 9/11, donations of money and supplies poured in and thousands of people volunteered their help and support. Memorials, services and vigils were held in NYC, Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania, and all over the world.
A federal fund compensated victims’ families and severely injured survivors. Families of victims advocated for the formation of the 9/11 Commission, which investigated the attacks and issued a report with analysis and recommendations.
Advanced DNA technology continues to be used to identify the remains of victims. However, human remains have still not been identified for approximately 40% of the WTC victims.
Public and private sectors partnered to support Lower Manhattan’s recovery, growth and revitalization, and worked to balance the need to remember and honor the victims with the need for a strong and vibrant community.
Following is a brief timeline of the rescue, recovery and rebuilding efforts:
September 12, 2001: At 12:30 p.m., rescuers searching the north tower wreckage to locate Genelle Guzman. She will be the last of 18 people pulled from the rubble alive.
September 13, 2001: Structural engineers begin examining the structural integrity of buildings on the periphery of the World Trade Center site.
September 17, 2001: Professional construction and credentialed recovery workers take over the operations at ground zero. Volunteers continue to assist in the effort.
September 28, 2001: More than 134 tons of material have been removed; NYC Mayor Rudolph Giuliani estimates that the cleanup will take “anywhere from nine months to a year.”
October 6, 2001: The last federal rescue team leaves ground zero. Although workers hope to find survivors, their official mission shifts to recovery.
October 8, 2001: Construction workers discover a crack in the subterranean “slurry wall” encircling the World Trade Center site. Engineers fear the slurry wall will rupture, causing catastrophic flooding that would compromise recovery operations. In the following weeks, engineers and workers fortify the slurry wall.
October 28, 2001: A memorial service is held at the World Trade Center site for victims’ families.
October 30, 2001: Citing safety concerns, the New York City officials announce plans to reduce the number of uniformed personnel on the site. Out of the approximately 160 firefighters on duty on the site, 25 would remain, and 25 of the approximately 90 police officers (the NYPD and the PAPD) would stay on.
October 31, 2001: At least $200 million worth of gold and silver is removed from a Bank of Nova Scotia vault under 4 WTC.
November 2, 2001: Firefighters protest plans to scale back their presence on site. Eventually the city allows 75 to remain on site.
December 19, 2001: New York Governor George Pataki states that the FDNY has extinguished the fire at the World Trade Center site. FDNY remains on standby in case small pockets of fire or “hot spots” are discovered.
February 20, 2002: Trapped Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH) train cars removed from the World Trade Center site.
March 11, 2002: The six-month anniversary of the attacks is marked with “Tribute in Light,” an art installation projecting two shafts of light upward from lower Manhattan.
May 10, 2002: Along with 1.4 million tons of debris removed from the site, 19,435 body parts have been recovered from ground zero.
May 28, 2002: Construction workers cut down the “Last Column,” the final standing column of the World Trade Center. Two days later, on May 30, 2002, the column is removed from the site in a public event attended by thousands, ceremonially marking the end of the recovery and cleanup operations.
June 25, 2002: The last truckload of debris is carried out of the World Trade Center site. More than 110,000 truckloads of debris have been removed from ground zero. For more information visit http://www.911memorial.org/rescue-recovery
Please join us in commemorating 9/11. This page offers suggestions and tools including a downloadable Commemoration Planning Guide that provides resources for commemorating in communities, schools, through social media and as an individual. Should you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
• 2013 Commemoration Planning Guide
• Commemorate in your Online Community
• Downloadable Suggestions for Talking to Children about 9/11
• Downloadable List of Names on the 9/11 Memorial
• Online Guide for Locating and Searching Names on the 9/11 Memorial
• September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance