Fifth Anniversary of 9/11 Attacks

9/11 5th Anniversary - Flight 93 Remembered Photo

As everyone has discovered by now, today is the 5th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks perpetrated by al Qaeda.

New York City on 5th Anniversary of 9/11 Attacks Dawn breaks over ground zero on the fifth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, Monday Sept, 11, 2006 in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer) Five years after terrorists wrought death from clear skies, the nation began its observation of a solemn anniversary Monday, with plans for silent reflection and fresh mourning for the nearly 3,000 lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001. On the 16-acre New York City expanse where the World Trade Center once stood, four moments of silence were planned for 8:46, 9:03, 9:59 and 10:29 a.m., the times when jetliners struck each of the twin towers, and when each tower fell.


President Bush visited ground zero Sunday and on Monday was to visit the two other attack sites: Shanksville, Pa., where 40 people were killed when a jet crashed into the ground, and the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., where 184 died. Bush also planned a prime-time address from the Oval Office.

There were also moments of silence set for 8:46 a.m. in the American and United terminals of Logan International Airport in Boston. American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 took off from Logan before slamming into the towers.

On Sunday, Bush marked the eve of the anniversary with somber gestures and few words: He and his wife, Laura, set wreaths in small, square reflecting pools in the pit of the trade center site, one each for where the north and south towers stood.

The Bushes had descended the long ramp from street level into ground zero accompanied by New York Gov. George Pataki, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Rudolph Giuliani, hailed for his work as mayor in the months after the attack.

Giuliani made the rounds on the morning talk shows Monday, expressing surprise that terrorists haven’t struck since Sept. 11 in the United States. Giuliani added that, for the memory of the victims, “we have to remain vigilant.” “It took about 30 years for this terrorism to develop,” Giuliani said on ABC’s “Good Morning America. “It’s going to take more than five years to deconstruct them.”

The anniversary is being remembered around the globe.

A divided world remembered the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks Monday, with allies promising to fight fanaticism, critics saying U.S. policies had fanned more violence and a militant leader promising “new events.”

Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi warned that terrorism remains as big a threat as ever, while Australia’s leader promised that the values of liberty and religious freedom would in the end emerge victorious. U.S. and Philippine troops fighting Islamic extremists in the jungles of Southeast Asia prayed for peace and safety.

But al-Qaida reportedly released a video paying tribute to the planning of the attacks on New York and Washington, which killed nearly 3,000 people, while the terror network’s No. 2 leader, Ayman al-Zawahri, called on Muslims to fight the U.S.

Hardline lawmakers in Pakistan, a key U.S. ally, blamed the five-year U.S. counterattack for “destroying peace in the entire world.”

Monday’s outpouring of emotion reflects an international landscape vastly changed since terrorists hijacked four airliners in 2001, crashing two into New York’s World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon and another into a Pennsylvania field. The attacks claimed 2,973 lives, stunned the world, and unleashed the U.S. military’s wrath in Afghanistan and Iraq.

On Sunday, President Bush and his wife, Laura, stood in somber silence after laying wreaths where the World Trade Center’s twin towers once soared. He later pledged “renewed resolve” to remember the lessons of Sept. 11.

Halfway around the globe, Australian Prime Minister John Howard echoed the determination at a ceremony Monday held at the U.S. Embassy in Canberra, saying “terrorism is the enemy of all people of good will.” Howard branded the Sept. 11 strike “an attack on the values that the entire world holds in common” and promised that the ideals of liberty and freedom of religion and speech “will in the end triumph.”


Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who won the country’s first post-Taliban election in 2004, expressed the appreciation of the Afghan people to the U.S. for the “sacrifices of your sons and daughters” in rebuilding his country. But on the streets in the capital, Kabul, many Afghans grumbled that they had not seen much improvement.


Other critics doubted Washington’s tactics, if not their objective. New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark said the security crackdown that followed the Sept. 11 attacks had failed to make the world safer, and that the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq had created a new haven for attackers. China, accused of using an anti-terror campaign to crack down on peaceful dissent, issued no official statement on the anniversary. But government-linked scholars said the Iraq invasion has been a painful and ultimately unsuccessful diversion, while American foreign policies continue to alienate many in the Muslim world.

Lots of bloggers are remembering the anniversary in their own way:

    Robert Prather : “I left for work thinking that it was a small commercial airliner that hit the towers. How wrong I was.”

    LaShawn Barber: “I thought it was an ordinary building fire. Like everyone else, I couldn’t have imagined what was really going on.”

    Lorie Byrd links to some of the best editorials and photography from over the years.

    Glenn Reynolds links to his first post on the 9/11 attacks which, that both was and wasn’t the beginning of InstaPundit.

    Ron Coleman: “Both buildings? Another plane?”

    Jen recalls Capt. Lawrence Daniel Getzfred, a neighbor who died at the Pentagon.

    Professor Chaos remembers Pendyala “Vamsi” Vamsikrishna , a drinking buddy who died on Flight 11 out of Logan. And his wife, who killed herself a month later.

    Florida Masochist remembers Ken Marino, a NYC firefighter whose path has crossed once upon a time.

    Ed Morrissey, Michelle Malkin, Sean Hackbarth, Flag Gazer, and others remember people they never knew as part of the 2,996 Tribute Project.

    Scott Ott imagines a care-free flight.

    Pajamas Media has their own roundup

    My 4th anniversary roundup contains many other interesting reflections. Among them is my former Troy colleague Steven Taylor, with whom I experienced most of that fateful day.

Moment of Silence for 5th Anniversary of 9/11 Attacks

Moments of silence:

The nation solemnly observed the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks Monday with moments of silence timed to mark the demise of the World Trade Center towers and quiet remembrances held around the country.

The 16-acre trade center site in lower Manhattan fell quiet at 8:46 a.m., five years after American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the north tower, and 9:03 a.m., when United Flight 175 slammed into the south tower. A third moment of silence at 9:59 a.m. marked the collapse of the south tower and another just before 10:30 a.m. to mark the time the north tower fell.

“We’ve come back to remember the valor of those we’ve lost, those who innocently went to work that day and the brave souls who went in after them,” former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said in a ceremony at ground zero.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Joe says:

    I am also participant in the 2,996 project. The tributes I have read have been moving and amazing and I am humbled to be involved in this undertaking.