Who would have suspected that when the sun rose over New York City shortly after 6:30 a.m. on Sept. 11, 2001, that it would be last the time the skyline included the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center?

Though hard to believe it has been nearly 20 years since that morning when four commercial airliners were hijacked mid-flight by 19 Al-Qaeda terrorists.

American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the North tower at 8:46 a.m. United Airlines Flight 175 flew into the South tower 17 minutes later. Both of the 110-story towers collapsed before 11 a.m.

American Airlines Flight 77, struck the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, at 9:37 a.m. On the final flight, United Airlines Flight 93, which was being flown toward the White House in Washington, D.C., passengers attacked the hijackers in the cockpit and fought over the plane’s controls. It crashed in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, at 10:03 a.m.

In all, the deadliest terrorist attack in history resulted the deaths of 2,977 — included in that statistic are 340 firefighters and 72 law enforcement officers. More than 25,000 were injured or have had substantial long-term health consequences.

Those of us who experienced 9/11 will never forget where we were, what we were doing and who we were with on that fateful day when as events unfolded the eyes of the nation were glued to television screens. Images from that day — office workers jumping from the towers, an inferno at the Pentagon, the crash scene in Pennsylvania and the heroes that ran toward the disasters — will forever be burned into our collective memories.

Each and every one of us has a unique story about Sept. 11, 2001, and The State Journal wants to include them in our upcoming special section remembering this historic date on the 20th anniversary of the tragedy.

To take part, send your story to news@state-journal.com by noon on Sept. 6. The special commemorative edition will be included in the weekend Sept. 10-12 edition.

In addition, The State Journal is donating 10% of all advertising sales for the 9/11 remembrance edition to Supporting Heroes Inc., an organization that honors the service and sacrifice of public safety heroes who gave their lives in the line of duty, by caring for the loved ones they leave behind.

Because even after 20 years — we will never forget.

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