Thick smoke rises over the New York City skyline after the World Trade Center towers were downed by terrorists on September 11, 2001. Nineteen men hijacked four passenger planes that day in an attack orchestrated by al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Two of the planes were intentionally crashed into the two World Trade Center towers. Another crashed into the Pentagon. The fourth crashed in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Nearly 3,000 people were killed.
In this image taken from video, American Airlines Flight 11 is seen seconds before crashing into the north tower of the World Trade Center at 8:46 a.m. ET. It was the first plane that hit the World Trade Center. Flight 11 took off from Boston and was scheduled to fly to Los Angeles.
People in New York look up as the World Trade Center burns.
Fire and smoke are seen from the north tower.
Seventeen minutes after the north tower was struck, at 9:03 a.m., United Airlines Flight 175 flew into the south tower of the World Trade Center. That plane also flew out of Boston en route to Los Angeles.
People in front of St. Patrick’s Cathedral react with horror as they look down Fifth Avenue toward the World Trade Center site.
Pedestrians look across the East River to the burning towers.
Surveillance video from a Pentagon security camera shows a fireball rising from the southwestern side of the building after American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into it at 9:37 a.m. The flight had taken off from Dulles, Virginia, en route to Los Angeles.
Firefighters try to control the flames at the Pentagon.
U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney talks on the phone from inside the President’s Emergency Operations Center.
The south tower of the World Trade Center collapsed at 9:59 a.m.
People run as the building collapses.
Two men take cover as a dust cloud from the collapsed building envelops lower Manhattan.
At 10:03 a.m., United Airlines Flight 93 — traveling from Newark, New Jersey, to San Francisco — crashed in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. It is believed that the hijackers crashed the plane in that location, rather than their unknown target, after the passengers and crew tried to retake control of the flight deck.
Military vehicles travel along the road leading to the crash site of Flight 93.
Bush speaks to Cheney aboard Air Force One after departing Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska. He had flown to Nebraska temporarily for security reasons.
The north tower of the World Trade Center collapsed at 10:28 a.m. The time between the first attack and the collapse of both towers was 102 minutes.
A massive cloud of smoke and debris fills lower Manhattan after the north tower crumbled.
New York Daily News photographer David Handschuh is carried after his leg was shattered by falling debris.
A New York firefighter pauses as smoke rises in the background.
Dust-covered survivors run through New York’s streets after the towers collapsed.
People in New York navigate through a dust cloud.
Members of the U.S. Congress gather on the east steps of Capitol Hill and sing “God Bless America” to denounce the terrorist attacks.
Dust, ash and rubble covers everything on a street in lower Manhattan.
Remains of the World Trade Center are seen amid the debris.
Bush prepares to address the nation on the evening of September 11. “Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America,” he said in his remarks. “These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.”
People in New York gather for a candlelight vigil a day after the attacks.