Remembering 9/11: An Attack That Forever Changed a Nation

In Summary

The Honoring the Fallen ceremony was a very somber event to commemorate the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks. The names of the 2,977 people that lost their lives that day were read by their families at Ground Zero. 

UPDATE: September 11 at 11:03 a.m. 

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks at the Flight 93 Memorial as she calls for unity on 9/11. 

UPDATE: September 11 at 10:46 a.m. 

Former President George W. Bush is speaking live at the Flight 93 Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. 

UPDATE: September 11 at 10:28:42 a.m. 

Actor and singer Christopher Jackson preforms “Never Alone.” 

UPDATE: September 11 at 10:28 a.m. 

The sixth bell rings in honor of the North Tower, which collapsed at this time. The tower burned for almost two hours after it was hit. 

UPDATE: September 11 at 10:27 a.m. 

President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden depart on Air Force One as the President heads to Shanksville, Pennsylvania, the site where Flight 93 crashed in. 

UPDATE: September 11 at 10:02 a.m. 

The fifth bell rings in honor of Flight 93, which crashed into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The flight was on its way towards Washington, D.C. until the passengers made a heroic effort to take back the plane from the terrorists but it was too late. 

UPDATE: September 11 at 9:58 a.m. 

The fourth bell rings in honor of the South Tower, which collapsed almost an hour after it was hit. 

UPDATE: September 11 at 9:49 a.m. 

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin gives a speech at the Pentagon, the location of the third attack on that tragic day. 

UPDATE: September 11 at 9:36 a.m. 

The third bell rings in honor of American Airlines Flight 77, which crashed into the Pentagon. 

UPDATE: September 11 at 9:03 a.m. 

The second bell rings in honor of United Airlines Flight 175, which crashed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center. 

UPDATE: September 11 at 8:49 a.m. 

The reading of the names of the people that were lost on that tragic day is read outloud. 

UPDATE: September 11 at 8:46 a.m. 

The first bell rings at the World Trade Center memorial in honor of American Airlines Flight 11, which crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Mike Low, father of Sara Low who was a flight attendant on that flight, spoke in remembrance of his daughter. 

UPDATE: September 11 at 8:10 a.m. 

BNC correspondent Dray Clark joins “BNC Go” host Nayyera Haq live from the World Trade Center. 

UPDATE: September 11 at 8:05 a.m. 

Party Politics president and founder Atiba Madyun joins Del Walters, Nayyera Haq and Charles Blow on BNC for a panel to discuss what they witnessed on 9/11. 

UPDATE: September 11 at 8:00 a.m. 

BNC begins its special coverage of the 20 year anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks with Del Walters giving recap of what happened on and after that fateful day. 


Saturday marks the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, the largest terror attack in this country’s history. Terrorists crashed planes into the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and in a field in Pennsylvania, changing the nation forever.   

The events of 9/11 placed a focus on global terrorism, resulting in costly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the latter of which ended last month after U.S. troops occupying the country for two decades evacuated.   

Anti-Islam rhetoric permeated the country, resulting in a rise of hate crimes against Muslim Americans and people even perceived as Muslim.   

Air travel changed forever. People were forced to remove their shoes and coats as they went through security, and could no longer go up to the gate without a boarding pass or ID.    

While those changes may inconvenience people flying from one end of the country to the other, it pales in comparison to the loss felt by the loved ones of the nearly 3,000 victims.   

RELATED: BNC Remembers September 11 & the Attacks That Changed America

Family members of the victims and first responders have spoken to BNC as they reflect on that fateful day and the last 20 years.    

“She was like a guardian angel; everybody loved her,” an emotional Angela Blunt told BNC’s Del Walters. “She was a good person, always looked out for us.”  

Blunt lost her sister, Marsha Ratchford, in the attack on the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001. She sat down with the DC Today host to reflect on her sister.   

On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, Blunt was on her way to work, looking forward to her routine morning call with her sister once they both got to their respective jobs when she found out from her husband that there was an attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.   

Once at work and after speaking to her brother-in-law, she tried to call Ratchford at the Pentagon but kept getting her voicemail, she told Walters.    

Blunt said that she did speak to her sister the night of Sept. 10 about Ratchford’s dream to open a homeless shelter once she retired from the military and looked forward to talking to her the next day.    

“That being our last conversation was hard, but I did get a chance to tell her that I love her,” she said.    

In 2002, Blunt was able to fulfill her sister’s dream and opened a nonprofit to help the homeless.    

Stories like Blunt’s are a reminder that as a nation, we have begun to heal from changes stemming from that day. For those personally impacted by 9/11, those wounds and that pain are still fresh, even 20 years later. 

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