WASHINGTON — While the Twin Towers burned in New York on Sept. 11, 2001, a third plane crashed into the Pentagon building in Washington. The Pentagon is the center of military power in the United States.
Twenty years after the tragedy, officials say it’s important to remember the nearly 3,000 lives lost that day.
“Including 125 of our teammates here at the Pentagon and 59 innocent passengers and crew aboard American Airlines flight 77,” said Pentagon Director of Administration and Management Michael Donley during a private ceremony.
Friday’s ceremony was for Pentagon employees and paid honor to the lives lost during the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks was in the Pentagon that day and said she vividly remembers the tragedy.
“This country had been attacked on a horrific scale,” Hicks said. “And it was done in a cowardly, horrific way.”
The FBI also held a remembrance ceremony where they rang a bell three times to represent the three sites that were hit.
FBI Director Christopher Wray said Sept. 11 was “the single most impactful experience” in his career.
Wray said that some interns now joining the agency weren’t even born when the tragedy happened and are still learning about the full impact.
“So that they never forget how that day transformed our nation,” Wray said.
The Pentagon is holding a larger ceremony tomorrow, at the exact time the attack happened. President Joe Biden will start his day of remembrance off in New York, before traveling to the site where another plane bound for DC crashed, outside Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The president will end his day at the Pentagon.